~Brined Olives…..Village Style (part 1)


Ok I’m a food nerd… The more I can do homemade the better. Over the past two weeks I have noticed fresh olives at the local street market. I knew that commercial olive producers used lye to cure the fresh olives making them edible. With kids around, the prospects of using lye did not really excite me. I was discussing this with an old family friend (she is Greek) and she divulged her family village recipe for curing olives the old fashioned way. So with my new found knowledge I went and bought a kilo of mixed green and purple olives and was ready for some fun.

So here we go….Heath

Ingredients:
  • 1 kilo fresh olives 
  • Sea salt
  • 1 fresh egg
  • A glass jar to hold the olives while they are being cured
  • Fresh water

Preparation:

Place the olives in a large colander and wash thoroughly, removing any pieces of stems or leaves. After cleaning use a sharp knife to cut a slit in each olive. Place all the olives in your glass jar. Fill up your jar with your water, then pour off the liquid into a measuring bowl. This determines the amount of liquid needed to completely cover the olives. In my case I needed 5 cups of water. Heat up the water (so the salt will dissolve). Once the water is warm gently immerse the egg (it should rest on the bottom). Slowly add the salt stirring continually. Once the egg floats your brine is ready. (put your egg back in the fridge) Once the solution is sufficiently cooled pour it into your glass jar covering the olives completely. The olives will want to float so you must use something to weigh them down. I cut the plastic lid of a yogurt container and friction fit it under the rim of my jar. You could also fill a ziplock with water and place on top of the olives. The object is not to let the olives interact with the air. You should change the saltwater every 2 weeks for 2 months. After that we can add flavors and seasonings. This is part one, next post I will explain the flavoring technique used to get authentic Greek village olives.
Heath 

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