Marinated Olives

This one’s a real quick recipe you can make and use for a few days, provided there’s any left. It’s just olives, oranges, capers, baby onions and oranges, tossed around in some spices.

I’ve had this on one occasion with some good red wine and another time while drinking some Belgian beers. And honestly, I think you can serve this before (or with) just about any meal! Pre-pizzas or pastas. With bruschetta. Or maybe even just chop everything up real fine and make some tapenade! Really! And trust me when I say it’s easy.

My recipe doesn’t use onions, because I didn’t have any at hand. But I’ll tell you what you need to do, in case you want to add them, anyway.

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Ingredients:
(Makes 2 cups)
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup dill pickles, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon capers
1 orange (you will probably use only half, or even less)

For the onions:
(Ideally, you’d want to have given the onions anywhere between a week to a fortnight to marinate. So, if you’ve planned well ahead, you can add onions, else just go ahead without them)
1/2 cup small onions (typically, sambar onions or white baby onions)
1 cup white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mixed-spices (you could use something out of a jar of 5 spice, or a combination of coriander seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns and dried chilli flakes)
(Or better still, just buy a jar of white, pickled onions)

For the marinade:
1/2 teaspoon of harissa
(You can add more or less of the harissa
1 teaspoon of olive oil, optional

Method:
For the onions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and soak the onions in them for a few minutes.
2. Let the onions cool and peel them. Make sure you do not leave the onions in the water, once it cools down because that will make the onions go soft and mushy.
3. Pat the onions dry.
4. Sprinkle the salt and the spices over the onions and leave them overnight.
5. Heat the vinegar in a large pan, though do not bring it to a boil.
6. Add the sugar and make sure it dissolves in the vinegar.
7. Pack a jar tight with the marinated onions.
8. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions to fill the jar, ensuring there are no air spaces.
9. Seal the jars and let them cool.
10. Let the onions sit around for a couple of weeks before you open the jar to eat them.
11. Refrigerate the onions in an air-tight jar, once opened.

For the Marinated Olives:
1. Cut 2-3 slices of the orange, as discs. Cut each disc into fours.
2. In a bowl, add the olives, the pickles, the capers and the orange slices.
3. Add the harissa and the olive oil and mix all the components well.
4. Refrigerate until serving.

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