Gluten-Free, Vegan Portuguese-Style Warm, Marinated Olives


Spring has come to the district! I repeat Spring has come to the district, and this time I think it’s here to stay. We are expecting some April showers, but there are blooms all over the place + I’ve been wearing shorts (though my pale legs are quite frightening!)

When crisp, beautiful weather rolls around chances are that you can find me 95% of the time sitting on the front porch, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Spring. I mean who could resist the smells of the lilacs that are blooming down the street. They are LOVELY!

In the mornings it’s usually just LeBraun, my mom and myself, but in the afternoons it’s time for a porch party!

Porch parties are my absolute favorite—great friends + conversation, beautiful weather, crisp wine + of course small plates.

One of the easiest, yet still elegant small plates (or “acepipes”) I like to serve is a Portuguese-style, warm marinated olives.

Anyone can put some olives in a small bowl, but an impressive and more refined-feeling alternative is doing what the Portuguese do + warming the olives with some spices. Seriously these are so aromatic!

Traditionally unpitted olives are used; however, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE garlic-stuffed olives so I like to use those with a mix of black (like Kalamata) and green (like picholine), then whatever else strikes my fancy that day. I would recommend using either pitted or unpitted, not a combination of both because you may forget and accidentally crack your teeth while taking a bite.

I promise once you’ve tried them, you’re not going to want to go back to plain ole, straight-from-the-buffet olives.

Each bite is delightful.

Let’s get upscale on the porch this year. Who’s with me?

Serve with some toasted baguette slices to dip in the extra spiced oil in the bowl. :)



  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs. mixed olives
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, additional to taste


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast fennel seeds, stirring frequently, for roughly 3 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add olives, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes, stirring until warmed through, roughly 3-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl + serve immediately.

Recommendation: Serve with some toasted baguette slices to dip in the extra spiced oil in the bowl. :)