Mediterannean-style Cracked Olives:
Two pounds green-ripe olives ,
Pickling or Kosher Salt (not iodized)
Herbs, garlic, lemon, oregano or other seasonings
Airtight, food grade plastic or glass containers
Preparation makes one half gallon of olives:
- Sort the green olives and discard any bruised or defective fruit.
- Rinse the olives in water and drain
- Place olives one or two at a time on cutting board and strike it with a rubber mallet, rolling pin or stone. Crush each olive just to crack the flesh-do not break the pits or remove them.
- Place the olives into a one half gallon glass jar and cover with fresh water.
- Every 24 hours drain the olives and replace with fresh water. Do this for 4-5 days until you no longer taste any bitterness. If you do taste some bitterness keep soaking until they are not bitter but not so long that they become bland. Always taste a few, don't go by just one.
- Prepare the finish brine with 40 grams of kosher salt to 1 pint of water, stir to dissolve, add 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar.
- Drain the de-bittered olives and cover with the finishing brine. At this point you can add herbs and other seasonings if desired. I like fresh oregano leaves, one clove of peeled, bruised garlic and a few thin slices of meyer lemon. Keep refrigerated for a couple of days to allow the flavors to develop more fully.
- If when you try your olives they seem to be bitter again (it has happened to me) simply drain off the finishing brine and rinse them another day or two and then add the brine and vinegar again.
- These olives can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months in the finish brine.
- Drain and serve with a little dribble of Dos Aguilas Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top.