Makes 3 cups
3 cups fresh Greek or Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons diced lemon zest
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed (see note)
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 large or 6 small Thai chiles
2 Turkish bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns, lightly crushed (see note)
extra virgin olive oil
1. Rinse the olives and pat them dry with paper towels. Score or crack each olive and place in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, coriander, garlic, thyme,chiles, bay leaves, and peppercorns and toss until well combined.
2. Place the olive mixture in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting-lid. Tightly pack the ingredients into the jar and pour olive oil to cover the olives by 1/2 inch. Close the jar tightly and let the olives stand at room temperature for 1+1/2 to 2 weeks before serving. Gently stir olives every few days.
3. Scoop olives from marinade using a slotted spoon and place in a medium bowl. Serve as part of your meze.
Tip: The remaining marinade can be used as a salad dressing or an excellent dipping oil for crusty bread.
Note: To crush peppercorns and coriander seeds, place in self-sealing plastic bag and pound with a small, heavy saucepan, rolling pin, or mallet.