2 cups green Gordal olives
1 cup pimiento-stuffed green Manzanilla olives
1 cup ripe black Hojiblanca olives
4-5 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 fresh or dry bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tbsp Marcona almonds
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup sweet or red vermouth
1 tsp whole black peppercorns (optional)
A pinch of sea salt flakes or to taste
1. Lightly smash the garlic by placing the cloves under a glass or other flat surface and pressing them gently to release their juice and aroma. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove long strips of zest from the lemon, avoiding the bitter-tasting white pith underneath.
2. Combine the olives, herbs, garlic, lemon zest and half the almonds in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vermouth, juice of half a lemon and black peppercorns, if using. Mix well to completely coat the olives. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This can also be done overnight.
3. Before serving, bring the olives back to room temperature, and add the remaining Marcona almonds. Sprinkle with a final pinch of sea salt flakes, which adds a delicate crunch and heightens the flavours.