Quantcast

Marinated Cheese & Olives ~ An Easy Appetizer or Food Gift in a Jar!

Creamy cheese and briny olives are marinated in an herb- and garlic-infused dressing for a quick, attractive appetizer or a fun and easy food gift in a jar!

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar | {Five Heart Home}Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet? Because I have hardly started, and I’m needing some commiseration from my fellow procrastinators here. But I have a big date with Amazon on the roster this week, after which I hope to have my gift-deficit issues resolved…wish me luck!

Aside from the presents I need to buy, I also have a list of gifts to make. And let me tell you…this year, I am all about quick and easy. But of course, I still want to give homemade goodies that will be enjoyed and appreciated. And what’s more fun than a food gift that you can plop in a Mason jar, jazz up with a cute tag (like the free printables pictured here!), and call it a day?

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar | {Five Heart Home}A few weeks ago I shared a yummy homemade caramel sauce that makes a perfect gift, because not only is it delicious, but it also takes only five minutes to make. However, it’s easy to get sugared-out over the holidays, so if you’re interested in giving a food gift that’s savory rather than sweet, I have another option for you today…and it only requires about five minutes of effort as well!

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar | {Five Heart Home}The secret here is buying ready-made ingredients and throwing them all together. Now I realize that you’re probably not in the habit of making your own cheese, and thus you typically already buy that ready-made. So when I say ready-made in reference to the cheese, I’m actually referring to the fact that you can buy it already cubed. No breaking out the knife and the cutting board…just dump it in a bowl! As for the marinade itself, you can just pick up a bottle of your favorite oil and vinegar or Italian-type salad dressing. Toss in some jarred Kalamata olives, dried herbs, and whole garlic cloves, then let the whole shebang hang out in the fridge for awhile. Seriously…you know a recipe is fast when peeling the skin off of six cloves of garlic is the most time-intensive step.

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar | {Five Heart Home}This combination of mild, smooth Colby-Jack, salty olives, bright herbs, and zesty dressing is not only tasty, but it’s also got eye appeal. This combo looks so pretty piled in a bowl as an appetizer, and it’s just as lovely spooned into jars with sprigs of fresh rosemary for gift giving. And the taste? Well, it’s quite addictive. Even if you don’t like olives, you’ll want to pick around them because the marinated cheese is simply delicious (just ask my kids).

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar | {Five Heart Home}I hope this recipe comes in handy for you this holiday season as you hit festive parties and put together homemade gifts for friends and neighbors. It’s pretty, it’s tasty, it’s quick and easy, and you can make it in bulk…now how can you beat that?

Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ holiday appetizer or food gift idea | FiveHeartHome.com

Marinated Cheese & Olives ~ An Easy Appetizer or Food Gift in a Jar

Yield: 8 cups (or about 6 gifts in pint-sized jars)

Marinated Cheese & Olives ~ An Easy Appetizer or Food Gift in a Jar

Creamy cheese and briny olives are marinated in an herb- and garlic-infused dressing for a quick, attractive appetizer or a fun and easy food gift in a jar!

Ingredients

  • 4 (8-ounce) packages of cubed Colby-Jack cheese
  • 1 (approximately 12-ounce) jar Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 (16-ounce) bottle of oil & vinegar or Italian salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, gently combine all ingredients except rosemary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Divide cheese and olive mixture between 6 glass jars (such as pint-sized Mason jars). Place a sprig of rosemary in each jar and pour remaining dressing into jars, dividing evenly. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Notes

You can use your favorite variety of cubed cheese, but something mild will absorb the flavors of the marinade nicely. You may use a jar of olives anywhere from 10 to 15 ounces, depending on the ratio of olives to cheese that you prefer. I highly recommend Kalamatas for this recipe (as opposed to regular black olives). Finally, use a good quality salad dressing, since that's a prominent flavor in this recipe.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2013/12/07/marinated-cheese-olives-an-easy-appetizer-or-food-gift-in-a-jar/

Adapted from Southern Living 2010 Ultimate Christmas Cookbook. And the beautiful holiday gift tags can be downloaded at Living Locurto!

* * * * * * * * * *

More holiday food gift ideas & appetizers…

Gingerbread Granola with Free Printable Gift Tags
Gingerbread Granola with Cranberries, Pistachios, and White Chocolate Chips ~ warm spices and Christmas colors make this a perfect holiday breakfast or homemade food gift! | FiveHeartHome.com

{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce
{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce ~ a jar of this makes a perfect gift! | {Five Heart Home}

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans
Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}

Mini Cheese Ball Bites
Mini Cheese Ball Bites ~ easy appetizers featuring dried cranberries, blue cheese, toasted pecans, and pretzel skewers | {Five Heart Home}

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix ~ just add butter, eggs, and vanilla for fresh cookies in a flash! | {Five Heart Home}

Pretzel Turtles
Pretzel Turtles ~ only 3 ingredients! | {Five Heart Home}

Nutter Butter Christmas Cupcake Toppers
Christmas Cupcake Toppers Using Nutter Butters (Snowman, Reindeer, and Santa) | {Five Heart Home}

Candy Cane Kiss Brownie Bites
Candy Cane Kiss Brownie Bites ~ perfect for your holiday cookie platter! | {Five Heart Home for Love Grows Wild}

And see all of our RECIPES <<< here!

* * * * * * * * * *

Let’s stay in touch!

Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Sign up to have new blog posts sent to your inbox!

I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

Signature

Comments

  1. What a great appetizer! Quick, easy, and right up my alley! Thanks for sharing, Samantha!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Liz! One can never go wrong with quick and easy. That’s about all I can handle at this crazy stage of life anyway! πŸ˜‰ Hope you stay warm and have a great weekend…thanks for stopping by!

  2. This looks so yummy. I love cheese and olives as a party dish and what a great idea for a holiday gift. Pinning right now πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the comment and the pin, Jordan! Hope you’re having a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  3. I am going to make a jar for one of my foodie friends, a jar for myself and have this at my wine tasting party.
    Pinning!
    Cheers,
    Stephanie

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      That sounds like a perfect plan, Stephanie! This recipe makes a lot, so you should have plenty to go around. πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. What a great idea for a gift! I have several friends that would rather have savory than sweet. Perfect!

  5. Ok, love how quick and easy this is. Plus, I am a huge Kalamata Olive lover. This recipe is perfect and such a cute gift idea. Thanks for the great idea, pinning!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Aren’t Kalamata olives fabulous?! And yes, this recipe is so quick and easy…always my favorite part! Thanks so much for the pin, Krista…hope you’re having a great weekend!

  6. wow, what a fun gift idea!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Pauline…this recipe is certainly fun to make and give, and I know I’d love to receive it! I appreciate you stopping by! πŸ™‚

  7. Samantha, I absolutely love cheese and olives and would devour this bowl in a nanosecond! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Hope you are having a wonderful Saturday!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I did devour a whole bowl of it in a nanosecond, Cindy…fortunately, I gave the rest away after that! πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for stopping by…I hope you’re having a warm and wonderful weekend!

  8. I love this! What sophisticated take on traditional food Christmas gifts! I would be thrilled if you shared this over at my link party today!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Megan! Sometimes it’s fun to put together a savory food gift in addition to all of the sweet ones! πŸ™‚

  9. OOOO that sounds SO good! I need to try this asap!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I think you’ll love it, Lyuba! It’s pretty amazing for those cheese and olive fans out there. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  10. This looks wonderful. I am assuming that it tastes better the longer it marinates. How far in advance to you recommend making this?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Jenny! I think overnight is plenty of time for it to marinate, although the flavor will continue to develop the longer you leave it in the refrigerator, of course. But honestly? It’s pretty good right after you make it, too. πŸ˜‰ Hope it’s a hit!

  11. Hey Sarah – Wanted to let you know I featured you on my site this week, as my favorite. Pinned this and so excited to try it! xoxo San

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I really appreciate the feature, Sandra, and thanks also for the pin! I hope you love this recipe when you try it! Have a great weekend… πŸ™‚

  12. Any reason NOT to use manzanillas? That’s what I have on hand.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Shana! I think you can use any olive that you prefer. The final result is just going to taste like manzanillas instead of Kalamatas…but that’s okay, too! I do think I would avoid the canned black olives, though, because those aren’t very flavorful (at least in my opinion). πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  13. Hi, I’m in New Zealand and just wanting to clarify the bottle of oil and vinegar – is this something you buy premixed over there? If so, is it 50/50 mix? I am keen to give this as a gift – although it looks so delicious it might not make it to the recipient lol

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Lynne! A bottled, store-bought “oil and vinegar” salad dressing in America is basically a simple vinaigrette, using the standard 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Here’s a good explanation/recipe to make your own: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/oilvinegardressings/r/vinaigrette.htm

      So for this recipe, you can use a basic oil and vinegar vinaigrette salad dressing for your marinade, OR you can use an Italian salad dressing, which is basically oil and vinegar dressing with the addition of Italian herbs and spices. I typically use Italian dressing in this recipe, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

      Hope this helps, and hope you enjoy your Marinated Cheese and Olives! Thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  14. Would you have any recommendations for a good quality salad dressing? This sounds like a lovely, easy appetizer for my Thanksgiving get together.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Jo! (And I apologize for my delayed reply…I was out of town over the weekend.) I really like the Newman’s Own and Brianna’s lines of salad dressings. Newman’s Own has a good oil and vinegar, and Brianna’s has a yummy French Vinaigrette that’s kind of tangy if you’re into that. I’ve also made this recipe before using Ken’s Steakhouse Northern Italian Dressing, because that’s one that I always enjoy the flavor of in pasta salads. I think it just comes down to finding a salad dressing whose flavor you enjoy! Hope you find a good one to try and that everyone enjoys this as an appetizer at Thanksgiving. πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Marinated Cheese and Olives ~ a quick party appetizer or easy food gift in a jar. This is a perfect appetizer. Its not the least bit heavy so it will not interfere with the rest of the meal. I like to make it up early in the day. I also like to switch out the cheeses and a little lemon zest will go a long way. Very eye appealing . Be sure to use pitted olives. And Toss Often.Recipe link:http://fivehearthome.com/2013/12/07/marinated-cheese-olives-an-easy-appetizer-or-food-gift-in-a-jar/ […]

  2. […] appetizers, and even gifts. If you’re feeling crafty, you can follow Samantha’s lead at Five Heart Home, and keep your marinades in a cute mason jar that you could decorate and give to […]

  3. […] Marinated Cheese and Olives by 5 Heart Home […]

  4. […] up briny Marinated Cheese and Olives in an herb- and garlic-infused dressing from Five Heart Home Creamy on your Thanksgiving appetizer […]

Speak Your Mind

*