Olives in a Nest

By • November 8, 2011 6 Comments

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Author Notes: These yummy, dough encrusted and spiced olives come from an Israeli recipe, called roughly in Hebrew 'Za'it B'ba'it', and translated into English, also roughly, as 'olives at home'. They would make lovely hors d'oevres, served with or without your favorite drink. Make sure to get some za'atar for coating the olives while they are hot. This spice, which includes sumac, is distinctive. It will take some patience to make these, but they are guaranteed to be a hit at your party.thirdchild

Makes 50+

  • 2 cups Unbleached all purpose white flour, plus extra for rolling the dough bits
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Za'atar (Middle Eastern spice)
  • 1/3 cup Sesame seeds
  • 3 cups Pitted kalamata olives
  1. Mix together butter, flour, salt, and sour cream, by hand or with a Kitchen-Aid type mixer. The dough will be a bit sticky. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. Mix together the za'atar and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  3. Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or Sil-pat. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Take a slightly-bigger-than-a-marble-sized piece of dough, and flatten with your hands. Use a bit of extra flour on your fingers if the dough sticks. Carefully wrap the olive with the dough, making sure there are no holes. Place on cookie sheet, and repeat this process until your first cookie sheet is covered with olives. The dough will not spread upon baking, so you can put the dough-wrapped olives quite close together on the sheets. Get someone to help you, because the wrapping can be time-consuming. But persevere, because the final result is really good!
  5. Bake one cookie sheet at a time, full of olives, at 425 on a middle rack of the oven. It will take about 17 minutes or more until the dough becomes nice and golden. The cooked dough should be slightly crisp. Watch carefully until they are quite thoroughly golden.
  6. As soon as the olives are done, immediately roll them in the spice and sesame mixture. It works well to place the cooked olives in a small bowl, and then sprinkle with the spices on top, rolling with a spoon. Place on a plate to cool.

More Great Recipes: Appetizers|Condiments|Hors d'oeuvres|Snacks

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Comments (6) Questions (1)


almost 4 years ago Bevi

I will make these for a holiday cocktail party coming up soon.


almost 4 years ago Avi Cohen

My usual version doesn't use Za'atar, instead ther is Kashkaval cheese in the dough. But being on a lo-fat kick, I might give these a try!


almost 4 years ago SKK

I was at that book launch party and we all begged her to post this. This is a most delicious recipe! Thank you, thirdchild.


almost 4 years ago SKK

This is a spectacular recipe! Thirdchild brought them to our gathering with Amanda and Merrill last night and we begged her to post this. Thank you, Thirdchild!


almost 4 years ago thirdchild

Dymnyno, I made these last night for a book launch party in Seattle with Amanda and Merrill. They were a big hit.


almost 4 years ago dymnyno

I am a big olive fan and will definitely be making these soon. They sound delicious and very unique.