I realized how lovely olives were when I spent a summer in Spain, where olives are a standard tapa and basically unavoidable.
Salty. Tangy. I didn't understand the flavor "briny" until I tasted olives — and now it's one of my favorites.
Back home in St. Louis, olives aren't nearly as ubiquitous. I stare longingly at them in the olive bar at Whole Foods, wishing that they weren't so dang expensive for the marinated ones. I particularly love the giant green ones and kalamatas. Why does life on a budget have to be so hard?
So here's a secret to all you olive lovers: You can marinate your own olives — the canned kind. The much, much cheaper kind.
Well, lightning strikes. How could I have never thought of that before? The very idea is so obvious I'm embarrassed that it took the Food Network to tell me that.
Here's the lowdown:
1 can olives, your favorite (I like green)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
small pinch dried basil, oregano, pepper, salt
optional: red pepper flakes
Let this sit in the fridge, covered, for at least an hour to let the flavors mellow. I wish I could tell you how amazing they smell!