Marinated Mediterranean olives with lemon, rosemary and garlic
The Mediterranean diet has been all over the news this week after a large-scale study that lasted almost five years found that participants who followed a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of heart attack and stroke by almost a third compared those who were advised to follow a low-fat diet. In fact the results were so impressive, the study was cut short so those in the control group could adopt a Mediterranean diet.
This study adds to a large and growing body of well-conducted research that has not only linked the Mediterranean diet to improved cardiovascular health, but also to reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.
And you know what the best part is? A Mediterranean diet isn’t only one of the most healthful ways you can eat, it’s also one of the most appetizing (matched only by the equally healthful and delicious traditional diets of Asia).
This recipe is a great example. A selection of plump and juicy olives marinated and infused with extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon, rosemary, and garlic.
We used a combination of Sicilian green olives, Greek Kalamata olives and Spanish green olives for this recipe. But the marinade works well with any combination of olives. The key is to let the olives marinate for at least 12 hours. They keep well in the fridge, covered, for up to a week — but for the best flavor always be sure to serve them at room temperature.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves — minced
Variations: Replace the lemon zest and juice with orange zest and juice, or use a combination of both. Add a little dried red chili flakes or crushed fennel seeds.
Tip: Once you’ve eaten the olives, use the leftover infused oil in sauces, dressings, and marinades.