As you may have discovered, olives cannot be eaten straight from the tree – they need some preparation before they are palatable. A few years ago, this recipe was given to us by one of our customers, who told us that the resulting olives were very tasty. So for those of you who fancy serving home-grown marinated olives at your next dinner party, just follow the recipe below.
Before marinating olives, it is necessary to pickle them to get rid of any impurities.
Pickled olives are ready to eat after around 5 weeks in salted water. It is very important that at the beginning, you do not mix ripe (black) and unripe (green) olives.
The quantities of ingredients used in this recipe are based on pickling 1.5kg of freshly harvested olives, so you may need to adjust the quantities depending on the size of your tree!
1. Make two cuts lengthways into each olive, through to the stone, using a sharp knife. Place the olives in sterilised jars until the jars are two-thirds full. Cover the olives with water then fill a small plastic bag with water, tie securely and sit the bag on top of the olives to keep them submerged.
2. Scum and impurities will soon appear on the surface of the water. Change the water in the jars every day and continue to do so for 6 days.
3. Once this is done, combine 1 litre of water and 75g of sea salt in a pan and gently warm until the salt has dissolved and allow to cool. Drain the cleansing water from the jars and pour in enough of the salted water to cover the olives. Add a layer of olive oil to the jars to make an airtight seal over the olives.
4. Leave for 5 weeks covered in a cool, dark spot. After this, they will be ready to eat but they can stay like this for around 6 months.
Drain 600g of the pickled olives, place in a clean jar and add one sliced garlic clove, 2 lemon wedges, a sprig of fresh dill and enough olive oil to cover the olives. These olives will be ready to eat after two weeks and will happily store for several months in a cool, dark place.