The following recipe is one of the oldest to evolve from the Mediterranean region where olives are consumed as a staple and every day fare. By following this recipe, the preparer of these olives can achieve a finished product that cannot be bought at any retail store.
REMINDER: FRESH OLIVES ARE EXTREMELY BITTER PRIOR TO PROCESSING
- Always rinse the olives in fresh water prior to preparing.
- Place olives one or two at a time on a bread board and strike with a mallet or any other heavy object to crack the olives in preparation for leaching the bitterness out.
- Place cracked olives in fresh water. Cover with water until all olives are submerged. It may require placing an object on top of the olives. The container used in processing should be glass or plastic.
- The water should be changed daily for 10 days until the olives have lost most of their bitterness.
- PREPARATION OF FINISH BRINE: Take ¾ cup ( 190 ml) of 5% wine vinegar or 5% distilled vinegar & add water until you have 32 liquid ounces. To this acidified brine add 5 level tablespoons of table salt, stir until dissolved. Drain olives well, then add your new acidified salt brine. The container should be of a type that can be sealed so no flavor will be picked up in the refrigerator.
- Now is where the preparer can become creative in their spicing scheme. Remember to go slow on amounts of spice because it takes about three days to be absorbed by the olives. By the end of the 4th day, the olives are ready to eat but will continue to absorb the spices.
REMINDER: IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP REFRIGERATED FROM STEP 5 ON