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Brined Greek-style Olives

Always use mature, fully colored (dark-red to purplish-black) fruit
to prepare this style of olive. You can use any variety, but be
sure the fruit is firm. It is most common to use the Manzanilla
and Mission varieties. The cured olives may be more or less
shriveled because of high-salt brine used to preserve them. Some
of the olives may fade in color during curing. In general, they
tend to darken again when exposed to the air.

Sort out the defective fruits.

Place olives in a container that can be airtight. A one quart glass
jar is the smallest size recommended.

Cover the olives with a brine containing 13 Tbsp salt (slightly
more than 3/4 cup) per gallon of water. Fasten the lids loosely.
Store the olives in a cool place (60- 80 degrees F).

At the end of one week, replace the original brine with a brine
made of 1 lb. salt (1-2/3 Cup) per gallon of water, leaving the
covers loose.

At the end of 15 days, replace the brine with one of the same
concentration - one pound of salt (1-2/3 cups) per gallon and set
the covers firmly.

If pressure forms, carefully loosen the cover to release the gas
and then close it firmly.

If brine spews out, replace it with more containing one pound of
salt (1-2/3 cups) per gallon of water.

If you prefer less bitter olives, you can replace the one-
pound-per-gallon brine at at one month intervals for two or three
months after step 4.

If you keep the olives airtight in brine, you can store them at
least one year if the cover does not corrode through. There is no
danger of spoilage or possible toxicity because of the high salt
concentration of the brine.

You can eat the olives within two months after preparation if you
like fairly bitter olives. In any event, after two months in the
strong brine, you can use them for cooking in tamale pies and
similar dishes. It is desirable to soak the olives in water
overnight to reduce the saltiness before eating them.

Store any uneaten olives in the refrigerator. It is best to place
the desalted olives in a solution containing one part red wine and
one part red wine vinegar and float a layer of olive oil on the
surface. Since the olive oil may congeal in the refrigerator,
allow the olives to sit at room temperature until the oil has melted
before serving.


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