Pickling your own olives is a very easy task. The hardest bit is waiting patiently for 1 month while they pickle away, but rest assured the results are well worth it. Put your own stamp on this recipe by adding whatever herbs and spices you prefer. You will need 4 good-sized glass jars, washed and sterilised with boiling water and one uncooked whole egg in its shell for testing salt levels in the water.
- 2 kg uncured olives, preferably Kalamata or similar
- 1.25 litres water
- 3 tbsp table salt, approximately
- 600 ml white vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1-4 small red chillies
- 240 ml olive oil
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.
Standing time 4 weeks
Slit the olives on both sides, a fine slit at the top of each side will do. This will help release their bitter juice. You can also 'crack' them by pounding each one enough to split the flesh slightly.
Leave them to soak in plenty of salted water, changing the water each day, for a week.
Wash and drain the olives and place them in the clean glass jars.
Fill a bowl with the water and add the salt. Float an egg in the bowl, when it is submerged to the point that only a 10 cent piece-sized circle of the egg's surface remains above the water, there is enough salt in the water.
Add the vinegar. Cover the olives in the jars with the salted water and vinegar mix, add chillies, garlic and oregano and finish with a layer of olive oil to seal. Set aside for about 3 to 4 weeks or until the olives are ready.
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