Preserved, salted olives (take two)

Hello all! I hope that you are keeping well.

A few blogs ago I wrote about my recipe for pickled olives. I mentioned in it that I would also be trying out a recipe for dried, salted olives. Well, I have performed that experiment and although it’s not completed, I wanted to share my progress with you so far. (The olives probably have about another few days or a week to sit in the salt…)

Anyway, here are some photos:

Firstly, I always like to work with a cup of strong tea close at hand — and as you can see, I’m not the only one who appreciates a cuppa! (You can just spy an olive tree towards the left.)
I washed a load of black olives that I had previously picked and made sure they were free from any bugs (or cat hairs). I then pricked each one with a sharp knife, careful to avoid pricking my thumb as I gained momentum…
(The perpetual onlooker)
Once done, I took them inside and placed them in an earthenware crock (which I bought years ago from the nearby village of La Rambla, famous for its ceramics and pottery, exporting worldwide). I first lined the base with some salt
I covered the olives with more salt, then another layer of olives and continued like this until all the olives had been used up…
finishing with a layer of salt.

The olives should remain under salt for about three weeks until they are nice and wrinkly. You should stir the olives, or shake the pot every day. The salt becomes damp as it absorbs their bitter juice. I needed to add more salt at regular intervals. I think I have used about 5 bags of half a kilo so far, which although it sounds a lot is well worth it because it costs me only 34 céntimos per bag — and the olives were free.

Here is the result after 2 & 1/2 weeks. The salt appears coarser due to the dampness — it also smells nice ‘n’ olivey. I have just tried one of the olives and they are definitely getting there, tasting good already. However, I will leave them under salt for at least another week until every taste of bitterness has gone (and until I’ve gone to Posadas to buy loads of jars to put the olives in!)
…and here’s a close-up of the little fellas

When they are ready, I can either shake or wash all the salt off, then tightly pack the dried olives into sterilised jars, filling and covering with a layer of oil to form an airproof seal.

I will include photos and comments on the finished result in a further blog.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for visiting — take care! xxx

P.S. Comments and questions always welcome

My version of beetroot salmorejo puree/cold soup

Hello again to all!

I’m back with another of my laid-back recipes — this time it’s salmorejo. It’s a sort of thick, cold soup/puree made from beetroot and other ingredients, as you shall see… In other words, it is the beetroot alternative of the classic Spanish tomato salmorejo.

(Please note: for those of you who are Spanish-speaking, wanting to practise your English, do have a look at the end of this blog where I have included a list of the English vocabulary and expressions used and their Spanish equivalents. Level B2 and up approx.)

So, to kick off:-

Beetroot, tomato from my vegetable patch and some over-exposed garlic (photographically-speaking that is, but I SHALL and WILL improve!)

You will need some beetroots (I used three medium-sized ones), a couple of ripe tomatoes if you have them (optional), a clove of garlic (to your taste — if you use too much and have the salmorejo for breakfast, then it can be unpleasant for those who work with you — or if you have it for supper, then you could suffer a restless, disturbed sleep plagued by nightmares. However, we all know the benefits of garlic!).

Beetroot cut up and ready to be liquidised with the other blurry ingredients

You will also need some white bread (enough to thicken the ‘soup’), some white wine or cider vinegar, salt and good-quality virgin olive oil (like the one that my son’s alberquina and lechin olive trees will produce this winter and will be up for sale!). You can also add about half a small green pepper and a couple of centimetres of cucumber for the extra flavour, vitamins and minerals.

Liquidise all the ingredients together, adding the bread in stages. Be fairly liberal with the salt and oil. The vinegar also helps to bring out and marry the flavours well. The more you liquefy, the smoother, creamier and silkier the puree will become (similar to making mayonnaise).

The final product showing off its gorgeous magenta

Spoon the final product into a serving bowl. Dribble with more of the oil. Don’t leave the sides of the bowl looking grubby and sloppy like I have, but tart the final product up a bit — after all, you do want all your hard work to be appreciated, don’t you?!

You can eat the salmorejo like soup, but the flavour can get a bit intense if you keep spooning away. I prefer it as a dip. Remember: less is usually more!

Well, that’s it for now folks. I hope you enjoyed (and will be trying out) my recipe.

Look forward to writing soon.

Stay well, happy and healthy — bye for now!

Vocab and expressions:-

laid-back — relajado

Kick off — empezar

beetroot — remolacha

clove — un diente (de ajo)

plagued by — plagado por/de

nightmares — pesadillas

blurry — borroso

up for sale — ponerse a la venta

to liquidise / liquefy / liquar

adding the bread in stages — añadiendo el pan poco a poco

to bring out — realzar / acentuarse

to marry — unir (casarse)

silkier — más sedoso

dribble — regar

grubby —  sucio

sloppy — descuidado

to tart up — mejorar el aspecto (pero cuidado con esta expresión: referendo a una persona, puede significar vestirse, pintarse un poco vulgar, provocativo, llamativo etc.)

to spoon away — seguir comiendo con la cuchara