Romolo's Olive Verde (preserved green olives in brine) Posted on 3 May 12:51 , 0 comments

Romolo,  Teresa's father was taught this recipe from his mother back in their village in Calabria, Italy. Olives were a staple in their diet - an important food supply. So when he came to Australia, the first tree he planted in his backyard was an olive tree - a symbol of food security and peace of mind. 








This recipe is easy to follow. Aromatics such as garlic and dried oregano are added to the olives just before serving, rather than being preserved with the olives. This  enhances the flavour of the olive without it being overpowered. 

In our first Mangia! Manga! book, there are many olive recipes offering different olive experiences together with a rich selection of traditional preserves for you to try.                                                                             

 Makes about 8 litres

Ingredients:  5 kg large green kalamata olives, 8 lemons, 500g salt,  3 cups boiling water, 1 cup regular white vinegar,  light extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, 3.75 litres cold water

 Special equipment: 1 large plastic bucket,   15-16 x 500ml jars (sterilised)

Dressing:  extra virgin olive oil, sliced  fresh red or green chillies, sliced garlic cloves, strips of lemon zest, dried oregano, freshly ground black pepper

 On a firm surface such as wooden table or  chopping board, smash the olives one by one with the bottom of an empty glass jar or bottle to split the olive flesh  to expose the stone, taking care not to completely crush the olive.      

As you are splitting olives place in  bucket with water. Prepare water in bucket by slicing 2 lemons in quarters and squeezing juice into water and adding squeezed lemon quarters.   Once all olives have been split, cover with inverted plate, wide  enough to ensure olives are covered and submerged in water. Water should be at leat 10cm above plate. No olives should be floating on water.  

Leave the olives to soak for 4 days. Changing water and lemons every day around the same time. Store the bucket in a cool dark place away from direct sunlight. After 4 days drain the olives and discard lemon pieces.

To make the curing  solution, place the salt and boiling water in a bucket and stir until dissolved then add the cold water. Once the water has cooled to room temperature  add the white vinegar.

Pack the olives tightly into the jars and carefully pour over to cover all olives. Drizzle a little olive oil to seal the olives and then seal the jars. Leave them to cure in a cool, dark place for at leat 4 months. The olives are ready when all trace of bitterness has gone.

Olives will last in unopened jars stored in cool place for up to 2 years. Once jar opened  the olives will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

To dress the olives, drain well and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds, transfer to a serving bowl and coat with olive oil. For each 500ml jar of olives, add one to two sliced chillies, two or three slices of garlic cloves, two strips of lemon zest and one teaspoon of dried oregano. Mix through and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Dressed olives do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, but should be consumed within 2 days.

Buon Appetito !