Come to Cyprus in November and it’s a busy time.
Help pick the trees in our garden and join us at the organic olive mill (www.oleastro.com.cy/park.html) to watch excitedly as our beautiful cold pressed oil pours out the tap at the end of the process.  You don’t need any experience – just a strong arm, old clothes and a sun hat. The yield may be less (6 kilos olives giving 1 litre olive oil) than the hot press, but the natural extraction without chemicals and processing at a heat of less than 33 degrees, means that it retains all its natural characteristics, trace elements and vitamins

MAKE YOUR OWN TABLE OLIVES Salted Olives – suitable for small black olives –  can be made by adding one cup salt to 8/10 cups olives (depending on your preference).  No need to soak.  Put into jars and shake the jars daily for a month.  They will keep for up to a year.

MARINADE FOR SMALL BLACK OLIVES If you have any of these small salted olives left from last year(or you can buy a tin or jar of dry ones), take about half a kilo, wash them and leave to soak overnight to get rid of the excess salt.  Drain them, put them in a large jar and add a marinade made from the peel of half an orange cut into strips; one sprig each of fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme; half a teaspoon ground cumin; one  clove of garlic; one red chilli; three tablespoons of vinegar.  Cover with olive oil and shake jar.  Keep them out of the fridge and they will be ready to eat after a week.  They should last a month or more, but I bet you finish them before this!

BRINE FOR LARGE BLACK OLIVES Cut the fresh black olives in two places with a sharp knife without touching the stone.  Place in jars in water and change daily for 6-12 days til they are no longer bitter.  Prepare a brine solution, 7 glasses of water to half a glass of salt.  Put the olives in the brine and leave for two days.  Drain them and soak in vinegar (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water) for another two days.  Finally drain them again and store in clean jars covered in olive oil.

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