Just warming this dish quickly makes all the difference for a taste that will make guests' mouths pop!
Ahead of time, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind, 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds and 1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 12 pitted kalamata olives and 12 pimiento-stuffed olives; cook for 1 minute. I used to be suspicious of bottled olives which listed 'lactic acid' in the ingredients, but have since learned that it is pretty much always derived from a non-animal source in this context, so don't fret if you notice the same.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish, cover, and let stand for at least 2 hours - mine was fine sitting for a full 3 hours.
Just before serving, uncover the olive mixture and bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve 1/3 a cup as an appetizer on 6 small plates - each serving is 80 calories.
Note: I was out of fennel seeds - I've had the hardest time keeping track of what is in my spice cabinet since I cleaned it out a couple months ago! I had time to dash out and buy some, but I toasted them separately in a skillet for five minutes just before the baking step listed above, stirred them into the rest of the ingredients, and then proceeded according to directions.
fennel seeds $5.59
pimiento-stuffed olives $3.49
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html