Remember this garlicky appetizer for your next dinner party. Buttery Castelvetrano olives are sautéed with garlic, fresh thyme, and lemon zest. Vegan & gluten-free.
I have a weakness for foods that seem fancy but aren’t actually complicated to make.
They have the benefits of those arduous recipes – eliciting impressed oohs and aahs. But they don’t take much time on task.
A prime example?
Buttery Castelvetrano olives warmed in a skillet with lemon zest, garlic, and fresh thyme.
Castelvetrano are the Adele of olives. They woo even those who typically shy away.
They are milder, more rounded in flavor, with less of that tinny quality that is common in a ripe olive.
Castelvetrano olives are easy to recognize by their bright green hue, the color of Kermit.
Where to buy them
You can find Castelvetrano olives at health food markets & gourmet grocery stores.
I buy them at Natural Grocers or my local co-op. My favorite brand is Jeff’s Garden.
They are also sold at Cost Plus World Market. Usually the brand they sell is Mezetta.
Some Walmart locations will also ship Mezetta olives for free to their store.
One reader told me that she buys very large jars of Castelvetrano olives at Costco.
Castelvetrano olives are popular on olive bars.
I’ve seen them at Whole Foods in the olive bar. And sometimes they also put small plastic containers of them near the olive bar in a refrigerated case.
Whole Foods also sells jarred Castelvetrano olives – their own in-house brand & Divina.
Step by step instructions
To make this warmed Castelvetrano olive recipe, simply sauté drained olives with lemon zest, chopped garlic, fresh thyme, and extra virgin olive oil.
After the garlic is fragrant, turn off the heat. And allow the flavors to develop in the warm skillet until serving time.
While it usually takes me a while to work through a jar of olives, when they’re warmed and popping with the flavors of garlic and lemon, it’s easy to plow through half a jar in a sitting.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers can be saved for later in the refrigerator, and gently warmed in a skillet again.
After some marinating time, the flavors are a little more pronounced, but not to a tremendous degree.
After the olives are eaten, use the remaining flavored oil for dunking bread.
Or pull out the sprigs of thyme, add a splash of vinegar, and make a flavorful salad dressing.
What to serve with them
These warmed Castelvetrano olives are a wonderful addition to a vegan charcuterie board or nibbly night.
Serve it on a charcuterie board with:
- Vegan feta cheese
- Jalapeño cashew cheese
- Roasted chickpeas
- Sliced bell peppers
- Pickled red onions
- Pickled jalapeños
- Jarred artichoke hearts
A meal of finger foods feels a little luxurious and a little sexy.
Perfect for Valentine’s Day or just another Tuesday night.
Warmed castelvetrano olives with lemon & garlic
- Bring a skillet to a low medium heat with extra virgin olive oil, drained Castelvetrano olives, fresh thyme, garlic, and lemon zest. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Turn off heat and let the oil/olive mixture sit on the stove for 10 minutes, while the flavors meld.
- Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and serve warm.