Zesty Olive Medley: Marinated in Preserved Lemons, Infused with Cumin and Za'atar

Zaitun-Marinated-Olives by MeetaKWolff-0070

The heartbeat of P@l3st!ne lies in the roots of the زيتون (zaytoun) tree. ⁠ As a resilient symbol of peace, heritage, and sustenance, the olive tree is more than an icon – it's the lifeblood of families. Tales that span centuries echo the strength of a people, rooted deep in the soil.

Generations of families are bound to these majestic trees, sharing a timeless connection. At every harvest, families unite, forging bonds as enduring as the ancient groves. Each olive harvested is a celebration of legacy, uniting generations and honouring the spirit of kinship.⁠

Zaitun-Marinated-Olives by MeetaKWolff-0015

In Arabic cooking, olives bring a burst of flavour and a symphony to savour, weaving tradition into every dish. From the first golden drop of olive oil to the tangy richness in every bite, for families in the Levant, olives and olive oil are the essence of home-cooked warmth and shared stories around the table. ⁠

Zaitoon_Marinated-Olives-WM-0037 by MeetaKWolff

Inspired by this spirit I got into the kitchen to bring some bright and citrusy flavours to my olives. I read that particularly in Ga-za families have a palate for tartness: lemons, sumac, za'atar, and dill, bring together a zesty palette of flavours. The 29th November was the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and I got into the kitchen to show my respect.

Zaitoon_Marinated-Olives-WM-0058 by MeetaKWolff

It was the need to pay this tribute and show my solidarity that has brought me back to my blog. It’s been here over the past three years waiting for me to find the moment to return. A lot has happened - stories that I will save for another post, for I do plan there to be more posts. But today I start with an easy recipe, that provides the same burst of flavour enjoyed by Gazans.

I've also posted a recipe video for these beautiful marinated olives as a Reel over on my instagram. Come over and say hi if you are not already part of my GramFam.

Recipe: Zesty Olive Medley: Marinated in Preserved Lemons, Infused with Cumin and Za'atar

Prep Time:
Total Time:
Makes: 1 Jar (850 ml)


  • 200g green olives
  • 1 tablespoon Za'atar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 4-5 mild green pickled pepperoni
  • 60g pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly crushed pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Sauté cumin seeds and garlic slices till slightly brown and aromatic. Set aside.
  2. Place olives, chopped preserved lemons, za'atar, thyme, pepperoni in a bowl. Pour over garlic and cumin with the oil.
  3. Give this a good mix. Then add seas salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Finally, add the chopped pistachios and mix again.
  5. Transfer to a 850ml large jar. Pour over the remaining olive oil and seal. Leave this at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
The longer you leave this to infuse the better the taste.
In the refridgerator the marinated olives should last for up to a week.
In smaller jars these make great presents, for example, fill the Christmas stocking with a jar of this for family and freinds


Zaitoon_Marinated-Olives-WM-0054 by MeetaKWolff

I’ve used a rich and slightly tangy olive oil from Lebanon, adding a brilliant bite to the tanginess of the preserved lemons and the earthy flavours of za’atar. Manzanilla olives, cumin, crispy garlic and crunchy pistachios bring the whole flavour palette together.

Please note: To all my trusty followers, I have had to change the way you receive your posts as “Feedburner” is out of date. I am now using follow.it and have imported all my followers here. I look forward to seeing you around and for your feedback again.


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