Cracked Green Olives (Elies Tsakistes)

Rinse the freshly picked green olives with cold water. On a flat surface, crack each fruit with a stone or a meat mallet and soak the olives in cold water for 6-8 days – depending on the size of the fruits — changing the water every 12 or 24 hours.


Taste after 6 days. Olives should be just slightly bitter. Drain and salt liberally. Let stand 12-36 hours, according to how salty you want the olives to be. Transfer the olives to jars, packing tightly in order to fit as many as possible.


Between the olives add herbs of your choice: sprigs of wild fennel or coarsely crushed fennel seeds, dried oregano, savory or thyme, etc. Fill the jars with olive oil, seal and let stand at room temperature for a week before consuming.

If you salt the olives lightly, as I do, you need to process the jars in boiling water to seal properly, or keep them in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving, and dress the olives with chopped garlic, lemon juice, red or black pepper, and either orange or lemon zest, if you like.


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