There are a huge variety of olives available, and this recipe, though months in the making, showcases the flavour of this popular and versatile Mediterranean ingredient. Serve these preserved olives as part of an antipasto platter, or give a jar as a gift.
- 3 kg olives, mixed green and black (picked before becoming fully ripe)
- 300 ml vinegar
- handful of coarse salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 2 weeks
Brining time 45 days
Place black and green olives in a 20 litre bucket of water and change the water every day for the next 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, place the olives in another bowl filled with vinegar.
Allow to marinate in vinegar for 2 days. Remove the olives from the vinegar and place them on a tray. Cover the olives with coarse salt. Allow the olives to sit in salt for 1 further day. Brush off the excess salt. The olives are then ready to be added to the brine solution.
For every litre of water add approximately 250-400 ml of vinegar. Add a handful of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Stir vigorously.
Sterilise jars and recycled bottles
If you are buying brand new jars or using recycled bottles always get into the habit of washing the screw top lids and glass jars/bottles with warm soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and place glass jars/bottles on a tray and pop them into the oven at 120°C for 10 minutes until jars/bottles are completely dry. Wait for jars/bottles to cool before handling them or use tongs when taking them out of the oven.
Preparing olives for jars/bottles in brine solution
Place as many olives in the sterilised jars or bottles and pour brine solution to the top of the rim so that no air is allowed in the jar or bottle. Screw the lid on tightly and allow to stand in a dark cupboard for a further 45 days. Label and date your jars and keep them in a dark pantry.
• Serve olives with goat's cheese, roasted capsicum or fresh garlic.
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