Though most French markets have you spoiled for choice when it comes to purchasing marinated olives, making your own variation is utterly gratifying.

Perhaps because there’s something wonderfully domestic about putting beautiful ingredients into a jar. Or maybe because anything homemade just always seems to taste better. You can use pitted or unpitted olives. Pitted tend to be more flavorful, while unpitted are, of course, easier to eat. I leave the choice entirely up to you. Serve these olives with a tasty apéritif such as a Pastis.


NOTE: This recipe was featured in The French Life Cookalong and was very well received.

Here is a comment from one of my Twitter Followers and Cookalong participants:

“I’m pleased to say that this inspired me to purchase “Herbes de Provence”. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have some already. My kitchen cupboard seems much more complete now! (I briefly thought about making my own Herbes de Provence but that will have to wait for another time. Perhaps you’ll include a recipe in your cookbook…?) : )

I never realized how fun it is to make one’s own marinated olives!! As you said, it’s ‘utterly gratifying!”


PS: Yes, working on that book!

Marinated Olives
Makes 1 750ml jar


  • 125ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 ½ tbsp Herbes de Provence
  • 400g mixed olives
  • 3 slices of an organic, unwaxed lemon, each slice halved
  • 1 sweet red pepper from a jar, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, halved



Put the olive oil, chilli flakes and Herbes de Provence in a small saucepan and gently heat. You want the oil to be warm to the touch, not hot and certainly not bubbling! Place the olives, lemon slices, red pepper and rosemary in a bowl. Pour the warm oil over these ingredients and stir gently to combine. Transfer to a sterilised jar and allow to marinate for at 4 hours before serving.