Pickle Recipes

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    Olives are so special, and so widely used that I felt they should have their own page. Those people who are lucky enough to own their own tree or who have access to olives in quantity may find this page useful.

    Olives as they grow on the tree are pale green. When they begin to turn straw-colored, they are picked and prepared in various ways for eating. Fresh olives are very bitter, and the bitterness is removed in the preparation. As the olive becomes riper it develops more oil. Ripe olives are either green or black. Both are picked later than the early light green olives, but before they turn jet-black, as they do when they are ready to be picked for their oil.

    Olives in Brine 
    Select healthy firm olives and wash them thoroughly. Soak the green olives for between 24 and 36 hours in a solution of 55g caustic soda ( known by many names : sodium hydroxide, lye ) to 4 litres of water. Use an enamel, wooden or pottery container, but never aluminum as caustic soda will react with it. Keep the olives covered with the solution to prevent discoloration. Rinse thoroughly and leave in fresh water until all the caustic soda solution has been washed out. Change the water every hour ( you are awake )  the first day and thereafter twice a day. It takes two days to to remove the last trace of caustic soda.
    Soak overnight in a brine solution made with 55g kitchen salt per 4 litres of water. Then soak for a further two days in a solution of 110 g salt per 4 litres of water. If using ripe black olives, make an incision lengthwise in each olive to aid absorption of the salt solution. On day three, soak the olives in a new solution of 225g salt per 4 litres of water. On day four, make another solution of 335 g per 4 litres of water and soak for one week. The olives are now ready to be packed into sterilized jars of any size you wish with a new solution of 390 g salt per 4 litres of water.
    When the jars are packed pour a 12mm ( in ) layer of mild oil on the top and seal with non-metallic tops such as glass or cork.
    If the olives are too salty when you wish to use them, soak them in fresh water before using.

    Lemon and Herb Olives

500g ( 1 lb ) green olives 2 lemons, sliced
1 tsp coriander seeds 2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp black peppercorns bay leaves
500g ( 1 lb ) black olives extra virgin olive oil

    Use a wide-necked jar to make it easier to fill and serve. Drain and rinse the olives if they are in brine keeping the green and black separate. Place a layer of green olives in the bottom of a sterilized jar, top with a layer of sliced lemon, then a sprinkling of chopped herbs and sliced garlic, followed by a layer of black olives. Continue in this manner until the jar is filled. Add the olive oil to cover, seal, and store the olives in a cool place. Leave at least two weeks before using.
Delicious !

Makes about 6 cups.

Olive Relish

90g ( 3 oz ) anchovy fillets 1 cups (225g/7 0z ) black olives
2 tbsp capers, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sun dried tomato paste  

    Remove the stones and chop the olives. Place all the ingredients, except the tomato paste, in a mortar and pestle, food processor or blender and blend to the desired consistency, rough or smooth. Stir in the sun dried tomato paste. Spoon  into a sterilized jar and seal. Store the relish in the refrigerator until required.

Makes about 1 cups.


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