Warm Citrus & Fennel Olives

Why is it that fall has rolled around and I still feel as though I am running around with my head cut off? I thought summer was going to end and things would slow down. That has not been the case the past two weeks. Between blog writing, events, dinners, concerts, dates, parties, I feel like I have not been home a single night to just relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.

I should not be complaining because I truly enjoy being busy and having things fill my time.


I've mentioned this recipe to a number of people recently and then overall trend seems to be, "Ew, I can't stand olives!" Is this really how most people feel? Or am I just friends with the wrong people? I could, and absolutely have, eaten olives for breakfast. There is no wrong time to eat them.

My family threw a 50th birthday part for my mom a few weekends ago and I helped create the menu and cook the food for the party. Some of the items were classics that I've made time and time ago, some of which I've included on SMAK. I did want to be sure to include a number of new recipes that I had yet to try out. This was in part done selfishly so I would have a number of recipes to share with you all, so I hope you enjoy!


The concept of warm olives was foreign to me. Most often I will pluck them right out of the jar and throw them in my mouth. Why need to add extra steps to the process? The combination of flavors in this recipe was very intriguing. The strong flavor of the olives coupled with the sweet citrus of the orange and the licorice flavors from the fennel provide an unexpected yet delicious dish.

I hope you enjoy olives as much as I do...if that's the case, give these olives a try. If you do not like olives, well, better luck next time.

Warm Citrus & Fennel Olives Serves 6 to 8


1 cup mixed olives, rinsed and drained, 1 tablespoon juice reserved 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 4 pieces orange peel, each about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide 1/2 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced lengthwise 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Put the olives and reserved juice in a skillet.
  2. Add the orange juice, orange peel, fennel, fennel seed, and olive oil and place over medium-low heat.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices begin to simmer and then reduce slightly.
  4. Transfer to a small serving bowl and serve warm, or remove from the heat, cover, and reheat the olives gently just before serving.
  5. Serve with toothpicks.