make your own by mimicking nature! no more little expensive jars from raw capitalists… transported from far far away.. i mean olives are staple food around here.. you can’t buy a little jar – olives are bulk only!
so here’s how to make your own sun dried salt-free most delicious richly flavored pure olives…
the picture is raw sprouted hummus and the sun olives are in the middle.
what are we doing
if you look under an olive tree – you’ll find occasionally black wrinkled olives on the ground. the good ones taste like nothing else – and are delicious. this is the only way i am aware of to find edible olives in nature without processing. we are basically mimicking nature in this recipe. our technique gives us higher success rates than nature… success means more olives of course. enjoy!
so first you need to find olives… depending on your area it might not be as hard as you think. look on on-line photos and learn how the leaves and tree looks like so you can spot it while traveling.
in areas like northern california (chico in particular) it is very easy. there is a reststop on i-5 that is full of trees – so plan your travels on the right dates so you can get them on time.
pick olives ripe
now, pick the olives as ripe as possible – in the northern hemisphere this means mid to late winter.. i picked the best ones (here in palestine) in march on some late trees the 99 y.o. neighbor has.
they need to be black like hell and must fall very easy into your hand.. like with a tickle. you can also put some sheets/tarp on the ground and then shake the tree a little.
collect as much as you can. olives have very long shelf life. someone told me you can close fresh ripe olives in a jar and it will keep unrefrigerated for a very long time.
when you come home, find a sunny area (like the roof) and some window screens or stretched mesh or cloth.. spread the olives (one layer) on the screens and let them be.. basically we are waiting for almost all of the water to evaporate and with it most of the bitterness.
if it rains a little it’s no biggy as long as they can dry afterwards – and if you notice them starting to mold then you can cover them at night or when it rains. this will take a few weeks – depending on your climate. the consistency that keeps is when they are really dry and chewy. like very dry raisins.
the flavor is amazing – the only real olives taste.. so rich and diverse – each olives tastes different! and fills the whole mouth with different flavors.. sweet and bitter and slightly salty. the texture is also very specials. like hard chocolate.
i like tanning next to them in early mornings and singing them songs about love and passion. then they taste even better.
you can also put them in the dehydrator – then it will take several days.
low-salt soft option
instead of putting the olives straight away in the sun, put the picked olives in bucket and fill with water. change the water every other day or so for about 10 days.. this also takes a lot of the bitterness out and some simple like them like this (but these won’t keep out of the fridge for long).
now put the olives in a tub – fill up to say 4 inches. take crude celtic sea salt and spread on the olives. how much? it’s really up to you.. use your intuition for the first time and adjust next time according to taste.. the salt will melt into the olives and will make the liquids come out to the bottom of the tub. drain them and shuffle them every day for 2 weeks or they might mold.
now set them on trays and the sun and let them dry.
here you can stop the drying process when they are more like soft raisins.. a different texture. keep in closed jars. you can give them a quick wash to get some of the salt off.
tell me how it went. it’s really very easy – i write a lot of words so you’ll understand what you are doing and the different options..
you can see a few more sun olives here as part of a meal: