Although curing olives can take a bit of time, it is a straight forward process and you can keep enjoying your work for months! You can source fresh olives in a number of places, including in around your neighbourhood and online. Served with the grilled bread, this dish is perfect as an entree or to share at a dinner party.
For the Olives:
Black or green olives 1kg
Table Salt 2/3 cup
Cider vinegar 600ml
Pomace or olive oil 2L
Fresh red chilli 2
Thyme 1 bunch
Lemon, peeled 1
Orange, peeled 1
For the flatbread:
Plain flour 1kg
Warm water 600ml
Dried yeast 30g
Table salt 15g
Olive oil 3 Tbsp
Thyme 1/2 bunch
1. Take your fresh olives and wash them thoroughly. Using a sharp paring knife, make a cut down one side of the olive all the way to the pip. This will help the water penetrate the olive and remove the bitterness. Fill a clean jar with cold water and put in the olives straight in until 3/4 full. Use a piece of baking paper cut into a circle to ensure the olives are fully submerged.
2. You want to replace the water in the jars every day for a minimum of 14 days to remove the bitterness.
3. After 2 weeks you want to remove the water and add in the brine. Heat the 2L water, cider vinegar and salt in a pot until the salt is dissolved. Once the brine is cool, pour over the olives. Leave them in their jars in a cool dark place for 4-5 weeks.
4. After 4-5 weeks you will have ready to eat olives! To make them extra delicious, we like to marinate them. To do this, remove from the brine and mix together with pomace or olive oil, the chilli, thyme, lemon and orange peels. Put bake in the jar and marinate for up to a year. The flavours will start to come through after a few weeks.
5. To make the flat bread, combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Once combined, turn out onto a bench and knead with your hands for 5 minutes. Return the dough back to the bowl and leave for 2 hours in a warm spot to proof (rise). After 2 hours, knock the air out the dough so that it goes small again and leave for another hour.
6. Take the dough out and break into small chunks. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into an oval shapes.
7. Finely chop the thyme and mix with the olive oil. Brush the herb oil onto the flat breads until completely covered on one side. Gently pick up the bread and transfer onto a hot grill or BBQ, oil side down. Once the bread is on the grill, brush on a bit more oil on the other side. Cook for 20-30 seconds until you see air bubbles coming up and then flip over using tongs. Cook for another 40-50 seconds on the second side. The bread should be done at this point, but feel free to grill longer if desired.
8. Chop up the bread and serve with your marinated olives.