Warm Olives & Chevre


If you show up at my door unexpected, and plan to stay for a while, you’ll be served warm marinated olives. Tucked in the side compartment of the fridge, right between the mustard and pickles, you’ll find a Mason jar full of olives in flavoured oil. I’ll grab a small saucepan and tip the olives into the saucepan to warm them to bring on their full flavour.If you’re lucky, I’ll have chèvre, goat cheese, on hand and I’ll drizzle a bit of the marinated oil over the cheese and then add some freshly cracked black pepper. It will be casual and effortless and you’ll never know I’ve been hoping for an unexpected guest.

Warm Olives & Chevre

Serves 8 to 10

Olive Mixture

■ 2 cups (250 ml) assorted olives
■ 1 cup (250 ml) extra virgin olive oil
■ 2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
■ 2 fresh red chilies
■ 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
■ 2 bay leaves
■ 2 large pieces lemon peel from a clean, organic lemon

Cheese Mixture

■ 1 tsp (5 ml) mustard seeds
■ 1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seeds
■ 1 Tbsp (15 ml) peppercorns
■ 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme
■ 1/2 lb (250 g) soft goat cheese, at room temperature


■ 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts—pecans, walnuts or pistachios (if using pistachios, no need to toast or chop)

Cooking Instructions

Place the olive marinade ingredients in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until aromatic, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the warm herb infused oil into a separate small saucepan. Lightly crush the mustard, fennel and peppercorns and add them, along with the thyme, to the oil. Allow the herbs to infuse the oil, on low heat, approximately 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the goat cheese in the center of a small platter and surround it with the marinated olives. Pour the oil and crushed herbs over the cheese.

Garnish the platter with the marinated peppers, lemon peel and rosemary.  Serve with a baguette or crackers. *The oil marinade should not be warm enough to melt the cheese.

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