Marinated Olives Recipe: marinating olives Turkish style

marinated olives recipe

What would a Turkish breakfast be without black olives? Obviously not a Turkish breakfast! Olives are sold in bulk in Turkey. It is customary to buy olives by the kilo from open sales. The classic choice is black olives, which can vary in quality, size (always given in grams per olive), dryness and salt content. The fruit (fun fact: olives are fruit) is then placed in a small bowl at the table at every breakfast. 


Marinating olives the Turkish way

Do good olives really need to be marinated? Not necessary, you can enjoy them as they are and enjoy life. Nevertheless, the right (and really simple) marinade gives black olives a very special kick. When you marinate olives the right way, the Turkish way, they become INCREDIBLE.


All of a sudden, the olive stones pile up on your plate and you can't stop dipping your bread in the marinade - that's how good our marinated olive recipe tastes. You don't need anything special for this, as the basis for the marinade is just a little very good olive oil and lemon juice. Instead of or in addition to lemon juice, you can also use real pomegranate molasses (nar eksisi)*. The sour note must therefore be in the marinade and olive oil with lemon is often enough for us. You can also spice up your olives even more. 


For example, Turkish-style black olives can also be marinated with dried mint, pul biber and sumac*. So you can vary our marinated olives recipe and see what you like. However, the foundation must consist of olive oil and lemon.


How do you serve marinated olives Turkish style?

While olives are an integral part of the Turkish breakfast table, they are not eaten much outside of it. You can still fill your pogaca with black olives or black olive paste. However, it is not customary to serve olives after breakfast. And what's the best way to serve the olives after marinating?


You are probably familiar with the sight of a deliciously sumptuous Turkish breakfast. The table is just overflowing with so many little bowls and you don't even know where to start. For this, Turkish households either have a breakfast service or small soup bowls are set out with the many components of the Turkish breakfast.


Our favorite? Simple glass bowls with lids*. We had them in our first apartment in Austria from the Turkish household store. When we arrived in Istanbul, we bought the same thing again - it's too simple and good to be true. Without a lid, you have the misery of having to tip everything back into the packaging after every breakfast. This is inconvenient and not necessarily hygienic. That's why glass bowls with lids are actually a must-have. You can close them with the lid and put them straight in the fridge.


An olive tip: the right olives for marinating

You can of course use all kinds of black olives for our marinated olives recipe. However, we know from experience that you are often disappointed. The olives are too salty, too dry, too lean or even too bitter - exhausting. In Turkey, we buy our olives from the free collection. In Austria, however, we have bought these olives*. They keep for a long time, are delicious to marinate and have never disappointed us.


marinated olives recipe

Marinated Olives Recipe: marinating olives Turkish style


  • one bowl of black olives*
  • enough olive oil to half cover
  • juice of half a lemon 
  • 0.5 tsp dried mint (or to taste)
  • 0.5 tsp sumac* (or to taste)
  • Pul biber optional (spicy)
  • a little nar eksisi* optional


Place the olives in a bowl (preferably with a lid). Add all the ingredients to the olives. Close the bowl with the lid or a suitable plate and shake well. Our marinated olives recipe is done - you have marinated olives the Turkish way! Afiyet olsun.

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