Mediterranean Olive Relish


Sublime Smoke

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Cooking Methodsmoking


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low carb, low cholesterol, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Taste and Textureherby, savory, sharp, smoky, spiced, tangy, tart

Type of DishCondiments


  • 1 cup black olives with character, such as Greek kalamata or atalanti, drained lightly and pitted
  • 1 cup green olives with character, such as Greek cracked, drained lightly and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley, preferably the flat-leaf variety
  • 1½ tablespoons orange juice
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Additional extra virgin olive oil


  1. Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

  2. Arrange the olives in a shallow, smokeproof baking dish or in a piece of heavy-duty foil molded into a small tray. Drizzle the olives with oil.

  3. Transfer the olives to the smoker and cook until they take on a light but identifiable smoke flavor, about 45 to 55 minutes at a temperature of 225° F to 250° F.

  4. When they are cool enough to handle, chop the olives and place them in a medium bowl along with their cooking juices. Stir in the onion, parsley, orange and lemon juices, and cumin. Drizzle in another 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil to bind the mixture and make it glisten, and to balance the fruit juice acid. Refrigerate the relish for at least 30 minutes. (It can be made 1 day ahead.)

  5. Serve chilled or at cool room temperature with toasted pita triangles.


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