I’ve just tasted some beautiful olives a friend’s mum grew in her back yard and then pickled. Most generously, I was given a recipe to post here. I’ll have to wait to find a tree I can raid. I’ve spotted a few olive trees growing on properties around Kapiti. We’ve certainly have that salt-laden wind of the Mediterranean. Olive trees have incredibly long tap roots so they can survive in very dry coastal situations. There are some commercial growers a bit further north.
Jill, the aforementioned pickler, has two Mission olive trees. Mission is a cultivar that’s been popular in NZ for quite some time, with a reputation as a reliable cropper. Her husband crops the trees every year keeping the fruit within reach. Harvest time is carefully chosen – just before the olives turn black, the birds will swoop in pretty quickly then.
Facts for the homesteaders, a tree producing 30-40 kilos of olives at year nine, with an oil content of 20% yields 8 litres of oil. Recipe after the jump
Jill’s Pickled Olives
Wash in several changes of cold water and drain well. Make up of a brine of 5 teaspoons of salt to 2 cups of water. Make enough to cover your olives and bring the brine to the boil.
Drop olives into the rapidly boiling brine. Quickly bring brine back to the boil, and boil rapidly for one minute. Remove the olives and let them dry and leave the brine to cool.
Pack you olives into clean jars and cover with cold brine. When you open one of the jars to eat, keep some of the olives in another jar of olive oil with rosemary and garlic. Another option would be thyme and cumin seeds.