Sunday, January 5, 2014

Raw Olives

My morning ritual starts with dropping off 6 of my 7 children off at school. This starts with the countdown. We are leaving in ten minutes! Which usually means we will be out of the driveway in 20. My kids go to three different schools with in about a 5 mile radius. Its a bit crazy but at the end theres a peaceful 10 minutes with my oldest son.

He goes to a charter school that has taken up residence in an old shopping mall movie theater. I never noticed until yesterday that the parking lot is brimming with olive trees that are packed with big fat black olives!

Well I am totally in love with olives and not one to let a good olive go to waste I got permission to pick. My to my children's horror I perched myself on top of our mini van with a plastic bucket left over from Halloween emblazoned with Frankenstein and got to picking!

There was some whining with the typical phrase, "Are you done yet?" Yet only my 8 year old, who loves to climb up into trees, was eager to help. So we picked and picked until I came away with 3 gallons of olives! Yeay me!

The first thing your going to want to do is wash your olives. Put them in a big bowl and cover them with clod water. Gently run your fingers through them and stir them up. The leaves and stems will rise to the top and you can scoop those out.

Salt Cured Olives

This is the easiest and best way to cure ripe olives! They are a very robust flavored olive with a fruity taste.

You will need equal amounts of sea salt and olives and an open bin or wooden crate. Start with a layer of salt and then a layer of olives until you have added all your olives and then cover with a final layer of salt.

I had ten pounds of olives so I used that much salt. Don't freak out about the sale, because very little remains at the end. When your salt is a purple color it's a good indicator that they are done.  Wash one off and give it a taste. If it's still bitter let the sit another week. The whole process takes about 6 weeks. Where ever you store these will smell so wonderful, of fresh olives. Don't for get to save the salt when your done. We blend with garlic and fresh herbs and give it as gifts. Its amazing flavor profile!

Once we have determined they are ready we will rinse them with boiling water . Yeah ok not totally raw, but it's a quick dip, a couple seconds.

Now we will pack them in jars with herbs and spices and cover with a good olive oil. 

Enjoy now or store in your fridge for up to a year! We enjoy these chopped on top of raw pizza!

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