Credit: What’s Gaby Cooking
Little dishes of tasty hors d’oeuvres are essential to any house party. Set them around the room to encourage mingling as people move from dish to dish to sample each one. A few great make-ahead dishes like these marinated olives with feta help make sure nobody gets too hungry while waiting for dinner, and prepping them in advance means you don’t even have to think about your hors d’oeuvres the day of the party. These are also easily transportable if you’re looking for a dish to bring to someone else’s party.
Marinating your own olives is a simple process that allows you to tailor their specific flavors to the meal, season, or just your personal preferences. These have a bright, briny flavor from the lemon zest, olives, and fresh thyme. A few chili flakes give a bit of kick, but they’re not particularly spicy. If you’re planning to serve these at a party, make sure to start with pitted olives. Nothing makes a cocktail party awkward like trying to find a place to dispose of an olive pit. (I’ve definitely hidden an olive pit in my handbag in a moment of panic. I don’t recommend it.)
A few hours in the lemon-garlic-thyme oil mellows the brininess of the olives and makes them taste bright and garlicky. The marinade also makes the feta cheese taste more complex and flavorful. Serve it with crispy grilled sourdough bread so you can scoop up the olives and cheese without losing all that great marinade.
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