You might not know this, but its harvest season for olives right now! These are exciting times, people. Olives are one of those pleasures that just make life a little better when tasting wine, don’t you agree?
Olives, although a natural product, need to be treated to be enjoyed. If you ever try an olive straight from the tree, you’ll find it almost inedible. The olives we know and love have been cured or essentially pickled before being jarred. Here’s how to brine and preserve your olives.
The Many Ways of Preserving Olives
Before we get started, let us invite you to take a private winery tour with Chauffeur Drive, Melbourne, Yarra Valley or a romantic getaway for couple’s wine tasting, dining and relaxing in the Yarra Valley. While honing those wine tasting skills and getting ready for a new fresh batch of olives, to enjoy on your charcuterie board, yum this is what life is all about.
For those wishing to try this, the first step in processing freshly picked olives is picking them, washing them and making a selection. You want to eliminate all bruised fruit or olives with signs of insect bites. The olive fly makes small holes in the fruit, so eliminate those.
Once you have your fruit ready, we’ll cure it and brine it in a process that will last around five weeks. Here’s what you’ll do, think about the flavours you can personalize your olives if you so wish with chilli, herbs, oils, stuff them, serve them however you like, be creative, there are plenty of you out there wanting to experience this.
Learning as we go, before being brined, olives must be cured in oil, water, or salt. The easiest way to do it, especially if this is your first time, is curing your olives in water and then to brine them in a saline solution or brine.
To pick your olives and store them in an air-tight containers filled with water. Change the water twice a day and stir often. The aim here is to eliminate the bitterness in olives while mellowing their flavour. Cure them for a week.
Prepare a salt and water solution of one part salt to ten parts of water. Add your water cured olives into the brine and make sure they’re completely submerged. Stir them at least once a day and change the brine once a week. You want to keep your olives in brine for at least four cycles or a whole month, but all your efforts will be totally worth it.
Once the olives have been appropriately cured and brined, you can change the brine one more time or store the olives in a vinegar solution with your favourite herbs and spices. A splash of vinegar is also customary and will add to the olives a fantastic tang.
More ways of being creative you may want to stuff the olives with peppers, anchovies, jalapeno or blue cheese. Once the final brine is complete, store the olive jar in the fridge and enjoy. They should last for up to a year, wow, just in time for you to replace them with the following year’s crop.
Enjoy your olives with friends and family and serve them with bread, cheese and of course, a nice bottle of wine. That’s an evening well spent, and that’s why we love olives so much!
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