You've been waiting for this one - and so have I! I absolutely love how rough this recipe is, but thats the beauty of how my grandparents work - they had to find things and make them work, and now it's carrying on the tradition to us kids.
So, every greek family household that I know, has the obligatory olive tree - that Papou comes around, takes the olives and then makes them and returns them in a jar, ready for you to put on everything!
Below is the recipe, but I want you understand that the SALT is a necessary part of the olives, and yes its a lot - but it's necessary to make them perfect.
I'm not going to give you actual quantities, because it is rough, but can be altered depending on how many olives picked.
All you'll need is:
Freshly picked olives
Salt (500g +)
One Fresh egg
Submerge the olives in cold water. For 7 days, you need to change the water each day. This process allows the olives to draw out bitterness and be more plump. Papou says "don't be impatient, you MUST do this" because he clearly could see that I couldn't be bothered doing this step, but he assured me in all his greek wisdom that this was a necessary process so... listen to the man.
It's time to party! Firstly you're going to need enough boiling water to cover the olives in a container. Once it's completely boiled, allow it to completely cool. Once almost cooled, we need to start adding the salt. Here is where the egg comes in. Add the salt to the water and stir until it begins to dissolve. Once you've added an impressive amount of salt (I'm talking cups and cups here), to test if the water is ready, add the egg into the water and if it floats, with around a 10c piece amount of the egg exposed out of the water, then it's ready! If it still needs more salt to float, then you need to keep adding more salt, allowing it to dissolve and then re-testing with the egg to find the perfect balance.
Some people like to make slits in their olives, but Papou only does this for some of his olives, but couldn't really give me a reason as to why - I'm thinking its more of a time thing, because making 2-4 cuts in each olive can be time consuming (and I sure don't have time for that!)
Once you've found the perfect balance, allow this water/salt mixture to completely cool before moving onto the next step.
In glass jars with lids, start to add olives to just under the brim of the jar. Then, pour in that cold salty water to submerge. Add around 1cm of olive oil into the top of the jar (this will float at the top and seperate). Add a little bit of cling film into the olive oil, covering the olives completely.
Leave the olives for around 4-6 weeks before they're ready to eat!
These can be kept for months in the jar inside the water, but always make sure you have the layer of oil over the top and the cling film, otherwise it's super easy for the olives to grow mould - yucky!!
GOOD LUCK - here's to never ending olive jars!
Love Leah xx