Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Curing olives: pickling

I bit into one olive, as promised, after five days. It was nowhere near ready, so I left them soaking the prescribed two weeks, with daily water changes. Now it's finally the time to pickle them.

The olives have lost a great deal of their purple color. They are variegated in shades of green and purple.

The first step is to make a brine, which is nothing more than salt water. How much salt do you need? Enough so that a fresh egg will float.

I added three or four tablespoons of vinegar to the brine, and the rest of my pickling ingredients. There are as many recipes as families are in Andalucía. What I used was:

Cumin seed
Bay leaves
Dried red peppers
Thyme (estate grown!)
Peppercorns (I happened to have a fancy rainbox mix at hand, but black peppercorns are more traditional)

Other key ingredients are:


I don't think the carrot contributes a whole lot of flavor to the olives, but it looks great in the mix, and as it also gets pickled, it's an added bonus.

Other typical spices and add-ins are fennel seed, paprika, oregano, savory, orange peel, red and green pepper, cauliflower florets...

I put everything in the brine, threw the olives in a clay jug, and poured this pickling magic over them.

This jug is now sitting on the counter, loosely covered with a kitchen towel. I would wait for about a week before trying the olives. Legend has it that the longer they sit in the pickling liquid the better they taste, but I have never had olives last more than a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Hello my friend:

I like the things you do. You are an artist, an I also like olives ;). You know, I come from Seville, that's why I like olives and "tapitas" too.
I also do some handmade things. Those things are to see in my blog www.enlaisladexisca.wordpress.com
Thank you for giving us a piece of your wonderful art.

Glo said...

I'm so flattered, Xisca! ¡Gracias!

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