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Olive Relish Recipe


A wonderful condiment to have on hand, perfect with the roast lamb, this relish can also enhance grilled fish or roast chicken, or liven up a sandwich or a pizza. Well covered, it will keep for a week in the refrigerator.

Serve with a roast lamb shoulder and tender flageolet beans for an easy spring dinner party meal.


  • 1 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives, pitted
  • 1 cup Niçoise olives, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons capers, well rinsed
  • 2 small garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
  • Finely chopped zest from half a small lemon 
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 2 anchovy fillets, well rinsed and chopped (optional)
  • About ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)


Put the olives, capers, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, anchovies, if using, and ½ cup olive oil in a blender or food processor and grind to a paste. Make the texture of the relish to your preference — rough or smooth. Pulsing the ingredients makes it rough; for a smoother texture, let the machine run for a few minutes. (For a more rustic version, hand-chop the ingredients.)

Scrape the olive relish into a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding pepper — or a little cayenne or red pepper flakes — as desired and salt if necessary. Thin with a little more olive oil to loosen the paste.