Warm Olives with Grilled Lemons and Roasted Garlic

Keep it simple when entertaining guests with this Euro-style appie

Simply fantastic: olives, lemons, garlic, and a few herbs and spices are all you need

Serve guests an appetizer straight from Europe with this simple but deliciously effective combination of olives, grilled lemons and roasted garlic

This is the perfect side dish, appetizer or snack to enjoy with pre-dinner drinks, or pack into a preserving jar as a homemade hostess gift.


  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1 cup full-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup Niçoise olives (the tiny French ones)
  • 1 cup Greek kalamata olives
  • 1 cup Bella di Cerignola Italian olives
  • 1 cup Picholine olives
  • 1 cup oil-cured olives
  • 2 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 (3-inch) sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 (3-inch) sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili flakes
  • 2 lemons, cut into 6ths and grilled


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the top (¼ inch) off the garlic head and rub with oil. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast for about 45 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven until soft and light golden brown.

2. Cool the garlic, then peel and set aside the cloves. Place all of the olives in a large colander and spray with fresh water to wash the brine away. Shake well. (It is best to do this a few hours ahead to let the olives air dry.)

3. Place the oil in a deep-sided sauté pan and turn the heat to low. Add the drained olives to the pan. Toss to coat with warm oil.

4. With a meat pounder or the back of a cleaver, bash the sprigs of herbs. This will break the leaves and stems and release the fragrant flavours. Add the herb sprigs to the pan, along with the chili flakes, and warm through.

5. Transfer the whole mixture to a decorative serving bowl. Carefully poke in the roasted garlic cloves, and garnish the edge with the grilled lemon wedges. Serve warm.

Makes 5 cups of flavoured olives.

Listen to Caren McSherry Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 11:40 a.m. on CKNW 98.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.