Uma Rapiti grows olives, but as of last week, no one here was a fan of green olives. There were however, six massive, dusty, jars of olives that had been brining since May, which needed to be prepared for eating. Except that no one really wanted to eat them or knew how to prepare them.
Olives are one of those things that I have wanted to like for years. They seem classy and good with wine and cheese. But I only like the black ones. Well, this seemed like a great opportunity to get over that and learn to like green olives. I stepped up to the plate, fired up laptop and asked O Holy Google, knower of all things, how to marinate olives. I found a great website that featured recipes like “Just like Mama Used to Make,” “Tried and True,” and “Old Tradition from the Middle East.” Figured I couldn’t go wrong with recipes as confident sounding as those. I mean, an Italian grandma is NOT going to lead me astray.
So here we go:
Step 1: Prepare a new brine. They had been in a 10% salt brine and needed to go into an 8% salt brine so your blood pressure doesn’t go through the roof upon snacking. I boiled 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of salt, then let it cool. Actually that is a lie, I boiled 3.7 liters, since we don’t do gallons on this side of the pond.
Step 2: Scoop off the moldy, snot like substance that had accumulated in the jars.
Step 3: Rinse the olives.
Step 4: Grind spices, chop herbs, slice garlic and lemon.
Step 5: Layer spices and olives in a jar, top with brine, give it a shake, seal and label.
In the process, I snacked on runaway olives and started to mind them less. We might even say I started to like them, considering how many I ate. The process took the whole afternoon, but it was my kind of work and thus, didn’t feel like work at all. I expected olives to be the sort of things that get better the longer they sit, but after just a few hours they had already absorbed much of the flavor of the marinade. That said, I officially like olives!
The best marinade was Lemon, Cumin, Oregano, Garlic and with just a splash of Olive Oil on top. So good, I’d recommend getting a plain ole grocery store container of olives and adding those herbs before your next dinner party. Or just your next dinner.