It’s autumn for real in most of the US, when people’s various appetites turn to sweaters, outdoor walks, and warm, aromatic foods. Here’s an appetizer that is made for fall. It perfumes your kitchen, and the olives melt in your mouth. Have some with a mild chevre (humboldt fog or some of the fresher Laura Chenel) or fromage blanc, and a good baguette. And it’s really easy to make.
Tips: A heavy small baking dish, or Le Creuset/other enameled cast iron saucepan is key for this dish. Get the best olives you can, but note even the lowly jarred Pastene olive will transform into a juicy mouthful.
Like many of my favorite fall recipes, this is based largely on Viana LaPlace’s Verdura. Every kitchen should have a copy.
Baked Olives with Thyme
2 cups large oil-cured olives
2 tbsp good fruity olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 thick sprigs leaf thyme
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put the olives, garlic and sprigs of thyme into a small baking dish. Add olive oil and toss ingredients to coat. Pour wine over the olives, then place the dish, covered, into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the olives look plump. Serve immediately from the baking dish.