Persian Zeitun Parvardeh (Marinated Olives)

Even if you can’t find all of the traditional ingredients for this flavorful dish (green Calamata olives and golpar/angelica may be tough to find, depending on your location), the combination of garlic, walnuts and sweet/tart pomegranate molasses with the slightly acidic olives will push this dish to the forefront of your cocktail table.

Learn more about the history of Jewish Persian food and find additional recipes.

2 cups pitted, unstuffed green olives, rinsed and drained (olives with pits may be used)
½ cup walnuts, toasted (or 2 tbsp walnuts and 2 tbsp almond butter)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1⁄2 teaspoon golpar (angelica), in the parsley family but sweeter, available in Middle Eastern markets (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp water or olive oil, if needed
  1. Place the olives in a large bowl.
  2. Rinse the original olive jar.
  3. Process the toasted walnuts in a small processor workbowl until they’re chopped almost to the consistency of a paste. Add to the olives.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, combine thoroughly. If the mixture appears too thick, add water or olive oil.
  5. Place the olives and the sauce in the reserved jar. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Shake the jar occasionally to distribute the sauce. Serve.