Tag Archive for Olives

Grilled Appetizers

appetizer with prosciutto and ricotta

Grilled appetizers are some of the best appetizers that we make…and we make some pretty good ones!! Not only do we love the taste of these appetizers, but we also love that there is no mess in the kitchen from having to cook them. By the time the appetizers come off the grill, the “prep mess” is all cleaned up and the kitchen is ready for entertaining! Well….I guess that’s if you are a “clean as you go” kind of cook like I am! 

Here is a list of grilled appetizers that are always a hit with family and friends:

Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta

Spinach, Tomato and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

Chicken Wings with Ranch

Peach Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

Beef Tenderloin Sliders

Zucchini Flatbread with Boursin Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Figs






Grilled Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta

Grilled Pita with Tomato Onion and Feta

I made Grilled Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta as an appetizer for the 4th of July. I had never grilled pita before and thought I’d try it for the first time with some of my favorites foods and flavors all mixed together. Oh my goodness! It was one of the best things I had ever tasted and took virtually no time to prepare

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 5 minutes

Ingredients for 12 people:

6 roma tomatoes, chopped

3/4 c. of mixed olives, finely chopped

1/4 c. red onion

3 T. olive oil

4 T. fresh mint, chopped

6 pitas (I used whole wheat)

1 c. crumbled feta cheese

Preparing Grilled Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta:

Preheat Grill to medium-high heat. Put first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Grilled Pita with Tomato Onion and Feta

Brush one side of each pita with a bit of olive oil. Place pitas oiled side down on the grill for about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn pitas over and top with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook for an additional 2 minutes with the grill closed, until the mixture is warm.

Grilled Pita with Tomato Onion and Feta


You could really top these pitas with just about any of your favorite ingredients. You can even make pizzas out of them! I made them as appetizer and cut them into wedges to serve, but there is no reason why you can’t serve them as an entire meal!

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate it and didn’t do a bad job at it if I do say so myself! It’s very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes


For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):

Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Parsley, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparing Middle Eastern Salad:

For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Middle Eastern Salad

Important Tips:

Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.


You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!

Middle Eastern Salad

Marinated Olives with Garlic and Lemon

Delicious and easy marinated olives with garlic and lemon

I love olives. What I mean by that, is that I can eat any olive, anyway and on anything! Yes, I was one of those kids who took black olives out of a can and stuck them on my fingers and ate them one by one. I tried it with green olives, but first you had to suck the pimento out before putting them on your fingers…and that’s just gross! Anyway, I wanted to make my own marinated olives with garlic and lemon one day and found this in “Appetizers” magazine a few years ago.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Marinate time: 2 days


2 cups black and green olives, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 3 x 1/2 in. strips lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4-6 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tsp. fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

How to make Marinated Olives with Garlic and Lemon:

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid or secured tupperware container. Cover and shake to coat the olives. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days, stirring occasionally. Before serving, let the olives stand for about 2 hours at room temperature. Drain olives, discard bay leaf and marinade.

Delicious and easy marinated olives with garlic and lemon

Important Tips:

Make sure you leave enough time to bring the olives to room temperature before serving. Otherwise, you will have an oily mess on your hands!


To change up how much kick is in the olives, adjust the red pepper to suit your particular taste. If you like the concept of marinated olives but don’t want to make your own, go to Costco and buy the Mediterranean appetizer tray for $14.99. There are 4 different kinds of olives in there, feta cheese, artichoke hearts and peppadew peppers!