This appetizer is great to set out when you’re sitting down with friends for a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of wine. The olives, cheese and other goodies are marinated in oil infused with herbs and citrus. Serve them with baguette slices.

Yield: Serves 6.



  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 6 strips orange peel (3x1/2 inch)
  • 4 strips lemon peel (3x1/2 inch)
  • 1 cup mixed unpitted olives, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup pickled cocktail onions
  • 1 cup cubed feta cheese (1/2 inch)
  • Baguette slices


  1. Heat oil and garlic in a small non-reactive saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, just until fragrant. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add rosemary, thyme, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, allspice, orange peel and lemon peel. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Divide oil mixture between two bowls. Place olives, artichokes and onions in one bowl; stir to coat with oil mixture. Place cheese in second bowl and stir to coat with oil mixture. Cover bowls and refrigerate, stirring once or twice, for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Place olive mixture in a medium non-reactive saucepan and reheat over low heat until simmering. Place cheese mixture in a small non-reactive saucepan and reheat over low heat just until heated through. Transfer olive mixture to a serving dish. Spoon cheese mixture around olive mixture. Serve immediately with baguette slices. Discard leftovers.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

578 calories, 59.3 g fat, 6.4 g protein, 9.2 g carbohydrate, 3.7 g fibre, 562 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.


We used a mixture of kalamata olives and green olives in this recipe. If desired, pitted olives may be substituted for the unpitted olives. Either bottled olives or olives sold in the deli department of the grocery store may be used; however, both kinds should be rinsed to remove some of their saltiness.

This recipe contains a flavoured oil mixture, which requires careful handling as improper preparation or storage presents a food safety hazard. When making flavoured oil mixtures, use freshly prepared ingredients. Keep refrigerated and use within 24 hours.