Olives, brined and marinated

Olives, brined and marinated

By
From
My Italian Kitchen
Makes
5 kg
Photographer
Chris Middleton

Every year we go out and pick the black kalamata olives to brine and marinate, so we have a supply for the whole year round. The process is a long one, but there is something very special and rewarding about preserving and marinating your own olives. When it’s time to create your marinade, use as little or as much chilli, thyme or other fresh herbs as suits your palate.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
5kg black kalamata olives

Brine

Quantity Ingredient
1kg salt
red-wine vinegar

Marinade

Quantity Ingredient
extra-virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
red chilli, sliced
thyme sprigs, (and/or other fresh herbs)

Method

  1. Wash the olives thoroughly and soak overnight in clean water.
  2. Bring 10 litres of water to the boil in a large stockpot and add the salt. Boil for 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Put the olives in a large container or bucket and cover them with the cooled brine. Put a heavy plate or a weight over the olives so they stay submerged in the brine, and seal with a lid.
  4. A natural fermentation will occur, so the top of the container will need to be loosened occasionally to allow carbon dioxide to escape. During this process, you will begin to see some mould on the top of the bucket. This is normal. The brine can be changed during this time, using a fresh batch of the brine. Scrape the mould off and change the brine every 2–3 weeks if possible. The process should take about 3–4 months if the olives are kept whole. A faster way of curing olives is to slit each olive with a sharp knife first, reducing the overall process to around 6–8 weeks.
  5. Once the olives have cured and sweetened to your liking, they are ready to be bottled. Drain and rinse well.
  6. To store the olives, make up a fresh brine with 6% salt: boil 10 litres of water and add 600 g salt.
  7. Pack the olives into sterilised jars. Add 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to each jar and top with the cooled brine. (You can vary the amount of vinegar.)
  8. Seal the jars and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use. These olives will last up to a year. Use as required, but refrigerate once opened. These should last a few weeks in the fridge but are best eaten fresh.
  9. Marinating the olives: To marinate the olives, drain the jar and rinse the olives. In a bowl, mix the olives with some extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, sliced chilli, thyme sprigs or any other fresh herbs you like. You can marinate them when you are ready to serve, or the marinating can be done a few days before to infuse more flavour.
  10. Making fried olives: Pour a little extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat, add 1 sliced garlic clove and throw in some drained olives, a few chilli slices and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Fry the olives for about 2–3 minutes – once they start to sizzle and get a little blistered, they are perfect! Serve hot.
Tags:
laura
cassai
my
italian
kitchen
masterchef
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