The olive grove

Ian’s parents grow olives. Lots and lots and lots of olives. They have hundreds of trees in their grove and every second April, we harvest. Some say it’s back breaking work, but I find it cathartic.

Mumzy-inlaw is happy her son married into an olive loving family with Lebanese (ish) heritage. I think I’m lucky to have married into a family that produces hundreds of kilos of my favourite food. It’s win win.

My family have always bought olives in bulk. Now I’m lucky to have them grown in bulk! Year round, I have massive jars of olives on my kitchen bench.

This is my favourite recipe for marinating olives. It’s quite sharp and tangy.

Sweet Paul’s Kick Ass Olives

170 grams mixed olives
85 grams capers, (the large ones)
grated zest from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2-3 fresh springs of thyme
1/4 cup olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Let the mixture sit in the fridge 12 hours before serving.

I love the olives themselves but my favourite thing is the oil. It’s fresh, light, tasty and I have an endless supply. We infuse the oil with lots of different things – cracked black pepper,  rosemary, thyme, garlic and chili.

My other favourite thing about visiting my inlaws is their cute herb garden. Bath tubs of herbs! Yeah!

If E and I are ever to separate, I’m keeping his family ;P

10 thoughts on “The olive grove

  1. Yum yum yummedy yum!! I am totes coming to help at the next harvest (yes, I invited myself!). And I love that real people actually grow things in bathtubs, and that it’s not just something I see on pinty :) With ur olive recipe, do u just buy unseasoned (but brined) olives from the deli? That recipe sounds delish, but I might try adding a touch more chilling and garlic (there are alot of vampires out there, haven’t you heard?!).

    1. Oh, I should have specified. Ian’s Mum leaves the olives soaking in a brine for about 6 weeks before they are in any way ready to start marinating with other things. I know her brine has loads of lemon in it but I’m not sure on the rest of the recipe, I’ll find out for you! If you got them from the deli you could start marinating straight away. Then just double, triple, quadruple the recipe as you see fit :)

  2. OOooh love their olive grove and those herb bathtubs…..! I need a giant jar of olives…but can you leave them on the counter (& not in the fridge) after you’ve opened them?

    1. When I lived in Pyrmont I had to keep them in the fridge because our flat got so hot! But up here, our house is so cold that those have sat on the bench for the entire winter and they still taste fine :)

      I forgot to send some home with you when you came to stay!

  3. OMG!!! I never knew this!! You harvest olives?? I have so many questions. How do you reach the ones at the top? Do they fall off when they’re ready? Why are the olives pinky red?

    Also I am uber jealous of that herb garden. My friend Claudia gave me a mint pot and I think it may officially be on the way out. I forgot it was there for a good 2 weeks, then I compensated by watering it every second day for the next 2 weeks. And mint is supposed to just..grow.

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