Roasted Olives with Lemon & Thyme

We’re having a grown-up dinner party on Saturday, two couples we know who got married in 2009. Figured it was time to give them a taste of what lies ahead, once younguns come into the picture. Hopefully they won’t sign up for vasectomies after they get a load of Harry’s dance moves—the boy loves an audience.

It’s only the second time we’ve tried this since Harry was born, not counting when we’ve had friends with kids over, so I’m a little nervous about how it’s all going to go down. Arrivals around 7 with hors d’oeuvres, junior’s bedtime around 7:30, dinner around 8. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? It’s purely a matter of the wild card named Harry, and how willingly he goes to bed knowing there are grownups who need entertaining in the living room. Wish us luck.

On the menu:

The little nibbles for when our guests arrive? Two old favorites:

  • Roasted Eggplant Spread, which I’ll cook tomorrow.
  • Parmesan Crackers, which I’ll start tomorrow and bake on Saturday.
  • And a ridiculously easy new recipe, which I just nailed today. It takes olives, lemons, and thyme, three flavors I love individually, and combines them into something downright luscious. These babies melt in your mouth, I tellya:

Roasted Olives with Lemon & Thyme
Serves 6, with other nibbles

2 cups assorted good-quality olives, not pitted
1 lemon (organic, since it’s going in with the peel), sliced very thin
3 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Put all ingredients in a baking dish—the mixture will be quite juicy for a while, so make sure to use something rimmed. Toss and roast for 30 minutes, giving it a stir after 15.

Serve warm or at room temperature, thyme stems removed, but with the lemon peel.