When I went to the market with my man trolley a couple of days ago, I decided to make a conscious effort to branch out a little (helped by the fact that it was a Tuesday, which is always much quieter than the pandemonium of Friday and Saturday mornings). At the very far end of the market, way beyond my usual territory, I came across a stall with the sign "Productos de la Sierra de Cádiz" (products from the hilly interior of Cadiz province) with a range of stuff including partridges, rabbits, wild herbs, snails and raw olives, and thought it would be fun to try marinating some olives at home.
I had a chat with the stallholder about what needed to be done, and he showed me how to gently crush the olives, then leave them in water for 6 days (changing the water every 2 days) before actually doing the marinating. So I went off with a 3 kg bag of beautiful green and black olives for just 5 euros, and a promise to come back next week to stock up with marinade ingredients.
Stage 1: crushing and washing
3 kg of raw olives
- Put plenty of cold water in a large container.
- Put the olives on a table or board, and gently crush them by hitting them firmly but not too hard with a mallet or something similar. (We actually used some very sturdy Ikea drinking glasses.)
- As you crush the olives, transfer them to the container. Top up with more water if necessary.
- Stir the olives around well with your hands, strain off the water and then cover the olives with fresh water.
- After 2 days, strain off the water, rinse the olives well, and cover with fresh water.
- Repeat again after 2 days.
- And again after 2 days. Your olives are now ready for you to start marinating.