In a colander rinse olives under cold water 1 minute and in a large bowl cover with cold water. Soak olives 4 hours to remove excess salt and drain well. To make the harissa: In a mortar with a pestle, an electric spice grinder, or a cleaned coffee grinder, grind seeds fine. If using mortar and pestle, add chiles, garlic, and salt and pound, to taste. If using a spice or coffee grinder, transfer seeds to a small food processor and add chiles, garlic, and salt. Grind mixture to a paste. Add pepper and oil and pound or puree to a coarse paste. In a large bowl stir together the harissa and olives and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight. Olives may be prepared 1 week ahead and kept chilled, covered. Serve olives at room temperature.
Roasted Peppers: Using a long-handled fork, char peppers over an open flame or on a rack set over an electric burner, turning, until skins are blackened, 4 to 6 minutes. (Or to broil peppers on rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from heat, turning every 5 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, or until skins are blistered and charred.) Transfer peppers to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Keeping peppers whole, peel them, starting at blossom end. Cut off pepper tops and discard seeds and ribs.
Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine