Cracked Olives with Harissa

Ingredients for 2 cups

2 cups green olives (with pits) in brine (10 ounces), such as picholine or Cerignola, lightly smashed to crack open slightly
4 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp tomato paste
⅓ cup water
2 tsp Cool Harissa Spice Blend
3 (4-to 5-inch) thyme sprigs
2 thin lemon slices
Optional: ⅛ – ¼ tsp cayenne pepper


Directions


Cover olives with water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then drain.



Cook garlic in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in water, harissa, thyme, and olives and simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened and coats olives, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon slices. Transfer to a shallow dish and marinate, chilled, at least 24 hours.