Two More for Giving: Provencal Olives and Italian Glazed Almonds

Here are two more EVEN EASIER recipes than the ice box cookies, if you can believe that! Yep, these olives and almonds are super special and unbelievably easy to make. Both of these make great cocktail nibbles to have with any festive libation and are a wonderful hostess gift, too!

Stir all ingredients together, bake and you're done!

Recipe 1 Glazed Red Pepper and Fennel Almonds: I’ve made these almonds for many a year now…all year long, in fact, but they are always welcomed during the holidays and definitely have a festive quality about them. They are so simple and you can whip them up for the weekend for guests, take them to parties, or gift them in pretty jars or bags… and they keep in an airtight container for a week…bonus! They are spicy, I won’t lie to you…and they have a distinctive anise flavor from the fennel, but these are all good things in my book. The combination of ingredients makes a truly harmonious whole, and I’ve yet to encounter anyone who didn’t love these tidbits. Here’s the recipe as I make it.

Glazed Red Pepper and Fennel Almonds (Bon Appétit)

Nonstick vegetable oil spray (canola or olive oil)
6 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
4 teaspoons of whole fennel seeds
2 teaspoons of dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
2 cups of whole skin on raw almonds
2 Tablespoons of water
A completely optional addition that I add every once in a while is some orange zest

The final product: Glazed Almonds!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a heavy baking sheet with foil and spray with the non-stick oil spray to coat. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and salt…don’t inhale while stirring, you’ll sneeze! (If you add zest, add it now and mix well) Pour the raw almonds on top of the sugar mixture and sprinkle the water over that. Stir to combine well. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until the sugar melts and the almonds are deep golden brown and glazed, stirring frequently and watching carefully, about 22 minutes total. Remove from the oven, separate the almonds with a fork and allow to cool on the foil on the sheet. When completely cooled, break apart into individual almonds. Store in a plastic bag up to 1 week. It makes 2 cups.

Just pour the the olive oil, juice, vinegar, zest and organo over and marinate for 2 hours.

Recipe 2 Mixed Provençal Olives with Lemon and Oregano: I first made these a couple of years ago for gifts, then completely forgot about them…that’s one thing I love about blogging, it challenges me to remember these good things I want to share! This recipe has 6 ingredients and again, is so easy, but it’s really impressive looking and tasting. I happen to love olives of any kind, and get so excited if anyone gives me some, so this is a gift that is wonderful to give and receive. Hint. Hint.

Mixed Provençal Olives with Lemon and Oregano (Martha Stewart’s Hors d’oeuvres Handbook)

2 cups of assorted olives green and black, such as Niçoise, Nyons and Picholine
Wide strips of zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon of juice from the lemon
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano

Jarred and ready for giving...or eating!

Place the olives in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and add the oregano. Remove from the heat and pour over the olives. Allow them to marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours. The olives may be made 1 week ahead and kept refrigerated in aan airtight container. Return to room temp before serving Makes 2 cups.

Footnote: I shall tell this tale on myself. I was merrily writing this, thinking I’d maybe post it tomorrow and managed…for the first time and perhaps not the last…to hit the publish button instead of the save draft button! Duh. So, if you’re a subscriber and got this before I could update, add images, PROOFREAD at least once….oops! Sorry about that!~BB

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33 thoughts on “Two More for Giving: Provencal Olives and Italian Glazed Almonds

  1. Both recipes sound delicious though I cannot imagine the almonds lasting even a week. I can so sympathize with your hitting the publish button a tad early. After the last time, I now change the publish date to sometime next year as I begin to write the post. I’ve not made that mistake since, but, now that I think of it, with New Year’s coming, I have some dates to change to 2013!

    • Oh John….a thousand thank you’s for enlightening me about that sneaky little “Publish” date button over there. Somehow I’d missed that little drop down menu and didn’t realize I could change it! Hurrah!!! It’s a wonder this hasn’t happened before now, but thanks to you, I can keep it from happening again (hopefully). If I don’t threaten bodily harm or get these almonds out of the house as gifts before the almond monsters gets to them…they don’t last even 2 days…they are really addictive.

  2. Hi Betsey, both the recipes sound delicious! I love olives too! I agree with John, I too set up the publish date well into the future now since I have made the error of publishing too early! And even then it’s not entirely fool proof; I published two posts on the same day by error (and here I was do happy I had a weeks worth of posts!).

    • Hey Eva, you guys are making me feel much better about this now and thanks for your comment. I sure didn’t want to publish twice in one day…I’m doing well to do 2-3 per week, but lesson learned. At least now I know what that button is for!

  3. Oh I did the publish before i am ready once too! isn’t it dreadful, however i got the good copy. and am making the olives this afternoon, we love olives, this will be great! c

    • The olives are nice to have with the wee bit of wine or a cocktail on a Friday afternoon. I’m so glad you’re making them! Also glad the copy you got was okay. As soon as I realized my mistake, I was frantically updating with images and corrections in the hope that no one would have time to read the post before I finished it! I had to laugh, but it was not a happy laugh.

  4. Yes, why was that little drop-down menu hiding up there.. I’ve blogged long enough so you’d think I’d have this software down cold, but I go exploring and there’s always something new… like instant edit allows me to add categories and tags if I’d forgotten.. Who knew? Annnnywayyyy… onto more important things, I love that you’ve shared two quick gifty recipes. I’m trying to put together a little collection of things to put together and give to each sibling in our families and it can be difficult to come up with something they won’t have had before:) So thank you!!

    • You are most welcome for the gift recipes, and I hope your siblings find these enjoyable if you decide to make them. Thanks for the sympathy over the software…does seem like there’s always something to learn!

  5. I shouldn’t have hit post comment until I read what I wrote. I meant that my giant bag of nuts will be gone in another day of two and then I’ll make yours.

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  7. OK, before things get ridiculous, I’d better stop here. This makes three of your “little” things I’m making to add to my baskets. Cannot Wait for these, and it’s obvious I’m going to have to make LOTS so that at least half of them survive my own clutching fingers! I’m really excited about both of these! Thanks Betsy!

    • Ha ha! These olives are great because the do keep for a while in the fridge…they’re great in a martini, too, which I forgot to mention. I made a batch of these almonds last weekend and kept a few for us. We’ve had them sprinkled on arugula with dried cranberries and fresh apple, and drizzled with an syrupy aged fig balsamic vinaigrette as an accompanying salad to soup the last two nights and they really are stunning in a salad. I’m so happy you like these and thanks for your great comments!

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