Marinated Olives with Lemon Confit

How to make lemon confit plus a simple recipe for marinated olives. Jump to the Marinated Olives with Lemon Confit Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Green Bean Potato Salad with Feta RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Briny Kalamata olives and a vinegary feta cheese dressing make this potato salad extra delicious. Add some chicken or shrimp and it can even double as dinner. Jump to the Green Bean Potato Salad with Feta and Olives.

A Little About Lemon Confit

Lemon confit is a fancy term for preserved lemons. You can preserve lemons a number of ways. In our recipe below, we preserve lemon peel in a mixture of lemon juice and oil. Other recipes call for preserving the lemon in salt and even sugar.

Olives with Lemon Confit and Red Pepper Flakes

You can use lemon confit a number of ways. In the recipe below, we toss some with olives, olive oil and red chili flakes, but that is definitely not the only way to use it.

How to Make Lemon Confit

Try adding some to salad dressings, dips, soups, pasta, risotto or meats and vegetables. I’m currently on an avocado toast / lemon confit kick right now and highly recommend it.

When it comes to the olives, choose what you love. We especially enjoy green, buttery olives — think Cerignola or Castelvetrano — but most olives will work.


Roasted Olives with ClementineYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: If you love olives as much as we do, you should take a look at our roasted Kalamata olives with clementine. Jump to the Roasted Olives with Clementine.

Recipe updated, originally posted February 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Marinated Olives with Lemon Confit

  • PREP
  • COOK

The star of this recipe is the lemon confit. The recipe makes about 1 cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to a month so you can make multiple batches of the marinated olives.

Makes about 1 cup of lemon confit

You Will Need

Lemon Confit

4 large lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup neutral flavored oil such as canola, safflower or grape seed

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 bay leaf, optional

Sea salt

Marinated Olives

Olives, we especially love green Cerignola or Castelvetrano olives

Extra-virgin olive oil

Crushed red chili flakes

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • Make Lemon Confit
  • 1Use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow peel from lemons in long strips. Try not to peel away any of the white bitter pith. Squeeze about 1/3 cup of lemon juice — from 1 to 2 lemons.

    2Bring a small saucepan with water to a boil, add the lemon peel and leave in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove the peel and drain the water. Fill the saucepan with water for a second time. Bring to a boil then add the lemon peel and leave in the boiling water for 10 more seconds. Drain and wipe the pan dry.

    3Add the lemon juice, olive oil, canola oil, garlic and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer then add the lemon peel and cook at a low simmer until the peel is soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Cool then store in an airtight container completely covered in oil.

  • Marinate Olives
  • 1Remove a few sliced of lemon confit (use a clean utensil). Finely chop. Add about 1 cup of olives, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to a small saucepan and heat just until warm over low heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • It might seem like overkill to double blanch the lemon peel, but this helps to make sure it is as clean as possible. It only adds an extra 5 minutes to the recipe and is worth it.
  • Make Ahead: Lemon confit can be keep up to a month in the refrigerator. Make sure it is completely covered in oil and use a clean utensil when removing lemon. (This prevents contamination and bacteria from forming.)
  • Recipe for preserved lemons has been inspired and adapted from Sondra Bernstein’s recipe on Epicurious.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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1 comment… Leave a Review
  • Aer Conditionat February 15, 2011, 11:57 am

    I always loved marinated green olives. They are my absolute favorite. But I never had the patience to make my own because of the lemon confit that took too long to prepare. But after seeing your recipe I’m definitely going to try them out. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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