Try these scotch olives, then check out our ’nduja arancini, focaccia and more of our favourite Italian starter recipes.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½tsp thyme, chopped
  • ½tsp sage, chopped
  • 100ml red wine
  • 300g sausagemeat
  • pitted Gordal olives, patted dry of brine
  • 150g plain flour, seasoned
  • 6 egg yolks, whisked with 3 tbsp of milk
  • 200g panko breadcrumbs
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  • STEP 1

    Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5 minutes until just softening, then add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for further 3 minutes. Add the herbs and wine, and reduce to a glaze. Spread the mixture onto a large plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Combine the sausagemeat and onion mixture in a mixing bowl, and work the ingredients together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 10 x 25g balls (each about the size of a quail’s egg).

  • STEP 3

    Take an olive and wrap the meat around it until completely covered (just like a scotch egg). Roll the scotch olives around in the seasoned flour (use a plate or flat bowl) coating all over. Dip the scotch olives individually in the egg yolk, let the excess drip off, then coat thoroughly in the breadcrumbs. Put on a plate ready for cooking.

  • STEP 4

    Fill a pan no more than a third full with vegetable oil and heat to 190C or until a cube of bread browns in 25 seconds. Fry the scotch olives in batches for 3-4 minutes or until deeply golden and crisp, and the meat is cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with mayonnaise, if you like.

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