Blistered Tomatoes and Olives

It’s a long-standing tradition in my family to have nibbles and drinks around 6pm, almost every day. My grandparents, my aunt, my parents … they all do it. Unfortunately, I don’t indulge in this tradition on my own, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I’m with other members of my family that do.

After returning from Portugal, settling back into a day without alcohol was very easy, as was cutting out all the pre-dinner snacks. But, sometimes I still craved some form of snack to keep me going before dinner, if dinner was going to be later than normal.


Full disclosure, as a teacher, I tend to eat at really early times. But I can adapt to later meal times on the weekends and on holiday pretty easily. On a normal work day, breakfast is at 6:45, lunch is at 11:45/12, and dinner is usually by 6:30/7. I am aware of how early this seems, but given that I am normally in bed by 10 (reading, not asleep), it means I don’t go to bed on a full stomach. So, the need for snacks before dinner is normally avoided by cooking dinner when I get home from work.

My parents have a few olive trees in their garden, although I think only one of the trees has produced any olives this year (and they had none last year). It got me thinking about recipes that use the olives, for my parents, but also because I enjoy olives when they’re done right.

So, I came across this idea of sauteing them in a pan until they start to brown. This appealed to me, because I’m a big fan of charred or grilled veggies, and figured I could add in some cherry tomatoes and garlic, and it’d be a delicious, healthy pre-dinner snack.

The truth is, charring olives is nothing new, and this recipe can have nuts added to it if you like. Enjoy the olives and tomatoes warm, though they still taste great when they’ve cooled down a bit too.

Here’s to more snacking!



200 grams olives (jarred or fresh)
150 grams cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest of 1 lemon

  1. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and throw them in a frying pan over a high heat with the olive oil.
  2. After a minute or two, add the olives, lemon zest, chili flakes and garlic. Mix well.
  3. Allow the olives and tomatoes to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the olives start to brown.
  4. Serve in a ramekin with your choice of pre-dinner drink.

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