Anyone can set out a bowl of olives as part of a charcuterie board or snack plate, but serving a dish of warm olives is a pro move. You can gently heat them in a luxurious pool of warm olive oil—or you can blast them with the hot, whipping winds of the air fryer. Both are good options, but the latter is my current favorite.
Like heating them in oil, roasting olives in the air fryer renders them fragrant and luxurious, but air frying them has the added benefit of lending them a deeper, nuttier flavor, thanks to a bit of browning. The flesh turns soft, supple, and—due to the bit of evaporation that occurs during roasting—a little meatier, and intensely savory. It’s still an olive, but it’s a concentrated olive. I truly do not have a bad thing to say about them.
Photo: Claire Lower
These piquant little fruits take very little prep work. All you have to do is blot off any excess brine or oil from your olives before tossing them in a 400-degree air fryer for 10 minutes. They’ll sputter and hiss for a bit while their delicate skins blister and bubble, but they’ll calm down after a few minutes. If you air fry cheese stuffed olives, some of the cheese will escape and fry, turning into little crunchy bits of frico. If you air fry whole, un-pitted olives, you will be surprised by how cleanly the flesh slides off that pit. I have not air fried a garlic-stuffed olive yet, but I bet it’ll be good.
Olives roasted in the air fryer don’t require adornment, but finishing them off with a pinch of parm, a sprinkling of citrus zest, or a smattering of fresh herbs will make this little snack feel that much more special. Serve with fancy cheese, fancy meat, and/or a very cold martini.