Black Olives with Orange and Fennel

These marinated olives are mysterious and heavenly.  The fennel and orange peel complement the olives perfectly.  The flavor is soft and subtle, and the marinade seems to erase some of the saltiness of the olives.

BLACK OLIVES WITH ORANGE AND FENNEL

2 cups black olives — oil-cured, Nicoise, Kalamata, or a mixture

6 small bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

zest of 1/2 small orange, in large strips

extra virgin olive oil to moisten

METHOD

Combine everything in a bowl.  Let stand for 1 hour or more for the flavors to develop.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 weeks.

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