Olives are among the oldest foodstuffs in the world, and Greeks have cherished this giving fruit on their dinner tables for centuries. A simple drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of oregano on top of a bowlful of green or black olives make for easy table finger food. Olives of nearly every variety, especially the famous Kalamata olive, always compliment the xoriatiki salata (Greek village salad) and are great compliments to pasta salads or cooked into baked chicken dishes. The Cretans like to top a single salty olive on top of simple dish sometimes called koukouvia (Cretan dakos rusk bread topped with mizitra or anthotiro cheese and grated tomatoes).
Simple can be so beautiful. In my Greek home, a warm plate of PAN-FRIED OLIVES is a favorite. My dad discovered this recipe years ago in one of his many cookbooks, and since then he has modified it to his own liking, mostly by just adding different olive types. You can prepare it with any combination of the olives you see here, by adding your own favorites, or just using a single olive variety. My favorite is the wrinkled Moroccan or Greek throumbes olives and I often use them alone. In all cases all you need is a big skillet along with onions, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and red wine vinegar. When time is pinched and you need something fast, this always results in a sensational dish that will surprise your guests every time.
- ½ lb olives (such as Moroccan, Greek thrombes, Kalamata and green Greek or Italian olives.)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ red onion, cut into thin slices
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and olives to the pan and sauté all together for about 5-7 minutes, turning with a wooden spoon.
- Add the oregano and the red wine vinegar and stir. Remove from heat.
- Place the olives in a serving bowl, and garnish with oregano. Serve warm and enjoy!