Olives! Not only are olives delicious, but they are so good for you in the vitamin department. I did a bit of research and found out that olives have lots of vitamins.... E, A, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. Who would have thought! Now I won't feel so guilty when I eat a bowl full in one sitting.....
And did you know, that black olives are simply green olives that are left on the tree for a longer period of time before harvesting.
The "proper name" for the olive is
“Olea europaea” or “oil of Europe.”
I usually buy in bulk and like to combine some green Sicilian and Kalamata olives when making up a batch. I especially like using Kalamata olives, because of their plump juiciness and I never, ever buy pitted olives!
Pitted olives go mushy, and lack that "real olive taste".
Drain olives from the brine and give them a rinse.
1.5 kilos Kalamata Olives
500g Sicilian Green Olives
1 tbls of fennel seed
1 tbls of cumin seed
1 tbls coriander seed
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 or so Bay leaves
Vegetable oil ( just under 2 litres)
I love the smell of spices in the kitchen....
Normally I dry roast in a little frypan (no oil) the fennel, cumin and coriander to release the flavours. Note: Dry roast separately
Really keep an eye on the pan and keep shaking it to stop the spices from burning. This process will only take a few minutes.
The fragrance in the kitchen has transported me to a spice market in Istanbul.
Cool spices down and combine with the chilli.
Place all spices, bay leaves and lemon rind on top of the olives
Spoon olives into sterilised jars and pour in the oil to completely cover olives. Keep jars in the fridge for at least a month to let the flavours develop. This recipe will make enough for some extras to give away as presents.
You can adjust this recipe to suit your needs ie. if you want to make less, then maybe halve the spices. If you have some favourite spices and herbs that you particularly like to use, feel free to experiment.....There are no hard and fast rules!
I have this tupperware container that has travelled with me from house to house ( I can't remember the proper name for it) but it's where I store my olives in the fridge, it has a "thing" that just lifts out, and that way you don't get a ton of oil as you scoop out the olives. Really clever.... I need one for my feta cheese. Anyone having a Tupperware party?
When serving the olives, slightly heat them and you will be amazed at the difference in taste and smell, it takes them to a different level, I also add some dried oregano on top as a garnish.
I won't tell you how many I tried in the making of this recipe. Suffice to say I've certainly had my vitamin A and E intake for the week.