Thursday, 2 October 2014


Antipasto plate of House Brined Kalamata olives, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Marinated artichoke hearts and Persian Feta.

              This little project started a few months ago, back in the middle of june. I was at my favourite grocers ' Fruit Fantasy & Delicatessen' in Stafford when the owner showed me a basket of green olives. They were from her own tree at home and she offered them to me at a price too good to resist $2/kg even though I wasn't quite sure really how to cure them. So I asked and I had received more than enough information to get me on my way. By the time I got round to brining the batch of olives, they had begun to turn colour. So I went back to the shop and consulted with the little old lady and she assured me they were fine, so I bought what she had left which were still green and brined both batches. The prosciutto I used in this antipasto is of the finest quality and is a protected designation of origin. Made in Italy under the strictest of regulation during the growth of the animal and the process of the final product. Only 31 companies have the license and rights to call their prosciutto San Daniele. The feta is a persian style feta packaged in a salted brine from the cheese makers at South Cape.            
             To brine the olives was very easy but you must have patience and a lot of salt. First of all I washed the olives under running water and discarded any bruised or badly blemished olives. I then made holes in each olive by stabbing into the flesh of the olive with a fork, leaving four holes for the oils to seep out and for the brine to penetrate. I then made a brine of half a cup sea salt to 10 cups of water. I placed the olives into a plastic bucket and poured the brine over the olives to cover them completely, using a heavy plate to keep them submerged but at the same time being careful not to create air pockets. I then secured the bucket with a lid and placed the olives into a dark, cool area of the house and covered the bucket with a towel. For the first 2-3 weeks I drained the olives from the brine and prepared a fresh brine daily. After about 3 weeks most of the oil had seeped out and the brine wasn't tainting as frequent. But I never left the same brine in the bucket for more than 3 days at a time. After about 3 months the olives had become plump from taking on the brine and there was no bitter taste any more, they were ready to be marinated. To marinate these olives I used an assortment of green and black olives in a container with olive oil, chilli, orange peel and oregano. This was left to infuse the flavours, covered in the fridge for a week before being served with the accompaniments.                            

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