Festive Olive Wreath Appetizer




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Olive and Herb Appetizer Wreath on a white platter with cocktail forks

My Festive Olive Wreath Appetizer is such fun for the holidays ~ olives are easy, they’re healthy, and fit just about every diet out there.  It looks Martha Stewart-ish, but it’s really a cinch, so any way you look at it, this is an epic win.

Festive Olive Herb Wreath appetizer on a marble counter

The holidays put me in a tough bind when it comes to entertaining, I definitely want to ‘wow’ people and honor the special occasion, but I just plain don’t have enough time or energy to go around!  That’s where little tricks like this come in handy ~ olives have always been my fall back when I need a really quick but still elegant appetizer.  This looks like you went to a ton of trouble when in reality you visited the olive bar, gathered some herbs, and threw it together.  Granted you threw it together artfully, but you get the idea :)

Festive Olive and Herb Wreath on a white platter

Olive lovers (me!) will have a lot of fun planning this wreath.  Choose your favorite olives, there are so many varieties out there lately, and then add in a few extras like feta cheese, and piquant peppers.  You can vary up the cheese, add nuts, gherkins, capers, whatever your fancy.  I kept mine simple to show you the concept.

Festive olive and herb wreath appetizer with forks

What you’ll need for a festive olive wreath  ~

  • A large flat round tray.  This can be the trickiest part of this appetizer.  You want something large enough so that you can form a nice size circle.  Anything from 12-16 inches works great, mine is just 12 inches across and is similar to this one.
  • Assorted fresh herbs.  I used rosemary, dill, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano and bay.
  • Assorted olives, the freshest you can find,  from an olive bar preferably.  I look for a colorful selection with different sizes and textures.  Some stuffed, some not.
  • Feta cheese, preferably imported sheep’s milk feta, it makes all the difference, trust me.
  • Bright red marinated peppers, I used  Peppadew peppers  which are sweet and tangy, not hot, and they come in orange, too, for a Thanksgiving color scheme.  Mine came from the olive bar at my supermarket, but you can also buy them in jars.

Olive and herb wreath appetizer on a white platter on a marble surface

How to assemble an olive wreath appetizer ~

  • I begin with the herbs, and I arrange them, overlapping, around the edge of my platter.  I don’t bind them together in any way,  I just start with the larger sprigs like rosemary and dill, and layer in the smaller, more delicate herbs like thyme and marjoram.
  • Allow some of the sprigs to fall off the sides of the platter and into the center for a natural organic look.
  • Next I arrange the larger olives, sometimes singly, sometimes grouping them in 3 or more.  I add the smaller olives in a similar way.  The feta cheese and red peppers are last, and they get arranged into a pleasing balanced-but-not-too-balanced way.
  • You can leave the center of the wreath empty, or place a bowl inside filled with more olives.  I sometimes fill the bowl with Marcona almonds.  You can also leave the bowl empty for pits, which isn’t as pretty, but practical :)

Adding herbs to an Olive and Herb Wreath

How to store fresh herbs for your olive and herb wreath ~

  • You’ll undoubtedly want to buy your herbs ahead of time, and they’ll stay fresh for a day or two if stored correctly.
  • For hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and bay leaves, I wrap them in wet-but-not-dripping paper towels and then again in plastic.  Store in the crisper section of your refrigerator.
  • For tender herbs like parsley, dill, or basil, I trim the bottoms of their stems and place them in a glass of water.  Then I cover it all with a plastic bag, and put on a shelf in the refrigerator.

Fresh herbs for an olive and herb appetizer wreath

To pit or not to pit the olives for your wreath ~

  • I use olives with the pits in them.  They have the best flavor, and that’s how they do it in Europe where olives are an important part of the cuisine.  The only exception is for stuffed olives, which I love and always include.
  • Be sure to warn guests that the olives contain pits, and provide a few small bowls placed about to receive them.

tvfgi recommends: a basic large white platter

A large plain white platter is so handy to have around, I use mine all the time for cheese platters, crudités, fruit plates, etc.  Mine has a 12 diameter.

Festive Olive Wreath Appetizer

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: appetizer, main course

Cuisine: American

Yield: serves 6-8

Festive Olive Wreath Appetizer

Ingredients

  • Assorted fresh herbs such as rosemary, dill, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, marjoram, and sage You can use a mixture of herbs or go with just one variety if you like
  • a pint of fresh assorted olives, some stuffed, some not, with pits
  • 1 cup (give or take) cubed Greek feta cheese (look for imported feta made with sheep's milk)
  • 10-12 red marinated peppers, I used sweet peppadews

Instructions

  1. Arrange the herb sprigs in an overlapping fashion to form a wreath around a large platter.
  2. Top with the olives, cheese, and peppers.
  3. If you like you can add a small bowl of olives in the center of the platter.

Notes

Feel free to up the amounts for more people. See the blog post for photos and more detailed instructions.

More drop dead easy appetizers ~

My Festive Olive Wreath Appetizer is such a fun appetizer for the holidays ~ olives are easy, they're healthy, and fit just about every diet out there. #appetizer #olives #healthy #easy #Christmas #thanksgiving #holidays #herbs #mediterranean #recipe #herbwreath #wreath #fetacheese #peppadew

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Leave a Reply

23 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    November 15, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Beautifully festive, I love this wreath!

  • Reply
    Abbe@This is How I Cook
    November 8, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Love this idea Sue! Perfect for the holidays and so much fun to play with food!

  • Reply
    Marina (from Denmark)
    November 8, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Oh Sue

    This is just soooo beautiful ??? I have done similar herb wreaths before (like around a dipping or sauce where it is also lovely to add some fresh herbs individually to the dish. People always love it) but I have never seen it with olives and it just looks so beautiful and festive.

    I don’t comment often but I visit your blog frequently and it’s one of my very favorites in the whole world of blogging. So glad I found you ??

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 8, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hey Marina! I love hearing from you! I hope to do more of this type of thing, and your idea of the dipping sauce sounds interesting, I was thinking maybe a great flavored olive oil and cubes of bread for dipping…

      • Reply
        Marina
        November 11, 2018 at 6:26 am

        Yes good bread and good olive oil is always lovely. Generally I prefer to do this when I am serving the herbs themselves as part of the dish (so people can add their own favorites as a fresh topping to a dish or a soup). I have a pretty pair of silver scissors I have inherited and will put that on the plate so people can cut their own fresh herbs from the ones offered in the wreath.)

        Ps: I dont know why all the question marks appeared. Probably pictures that didn’t translate properly.

        • Reply
          Sue
          November 11, 2018 at 10:18 am

          What a pretty idea with the scissors…and those darned question marks are so strange!

  • Reply
    Sherri
    November 7, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    What a beautiful appetizer! I’ll be making this for the holidays! I love, love, love olives and feta. Thank you

  • Reply
    Milena
    November 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I am in love with this appetizer! I love, love olives, always have, and feta is my favorite cheese to pair them with. Absolutely stunning presentation too!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks Milena!

  • Reply
    Lauren Vavala | Delicious Little Bites
    November 7, 2018 at 9:34 am

    This is such a beautiful idea for an appetizer for the holidays! I love olives and my fiance and I are both peppadew fanatics! We’d eat the whole thing ourselves haha!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

      I learned about peppadews from a fanatic, they have a cult following!

  • Reply
    Heidy L. McCallum
    November 7, 2018 at 9:29 am

    How gorgeous! I love this idea for an appetizer. A total table stunner.

  • Reply
    Annissa
    November 7, 2018 at 9:23 am

    This is so smart and artsy! Love that this looks so aesthetic and yummy!

  • Reply
    Jillian
    November 7, 2018 at 9:19 am

    This is a beautiful & delicious appetizer!

  • Reply
    Iryna
    November 7, 2018 at 8:34 am

    This is definitely my kind of appetizer. I love how creative your arranged everything on the platter. Beautiful and great for holidays.

  • Reply
    Alene
    November 7, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Very cool!! I have 12 for Txgiving. This will be great on my large square coffee table with room for other appetizers. You are too clever!! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Funny you should mention your coffee table, because when I served this on my rectangle table I was thinking that I need to upgrade to a big square to fit my wreath :)
      The nice thing about serving this for the holidays is that it won’t fill anyone up before the big meal.

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    November 7, 2018 at 7:44 am

    You’re a total artist in the kitchen Sue! This is beautiful and sooo easy too! Love it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Thanks fellow kitchen artist :) I’m actually really inspired by this idea, I can see several different seasonal variations coming up…

  • Reply
    Pam
    November 7, 2018 at 7:35 am

    So creative but, like you said, easy! I love it and olives are a favorite. I can think of lots of ways to be versatile according to what is fresh and available. Great job!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Sometimes creative can mean really fussy ~ I like that this isn’t :)

  • Reply
    angiesrecipes
    November 7, 2018 at 6:05 am

    Beautiful! And I love olives :-)

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Thanks Angie, this is a must for any olive lover!

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