"My olives arrived this afternoon and they are just fabulous.  These olives are about as close to my home made as you can get." Elizabeth

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Here's me with Knut the day we collected the olives.

Three cheers for Knut and Regina!! My good friends in the Australian olive industry  - we were pioneers together from 1996 – are retiring.

For  years, Knut processed our olives into oil  (nobody does it better) and he's been a great mentor. His retirement’s the bad news for us - the good news? A sort of parting gift. I've bought the last barrels of Knut and Regina's perfectly pickled olives! 

(When we'd deliver our olives to his immaculate presses I'd see his team  hand-sorting the plumpest fruit for pickling.)

They're fully cured and we've jarred them up in a fresh salt brine for you. Ready for you to marinate.

We've  great respect for Knut's achievements in helping revive the Australian olive industry – from planting trees to processing biodynamic fruit to public education – while creating products of the highest quality. Like these green crunchy olives.

Happy retirement to two wonderful people.

Ever since we’ve grown olives we’ve always picked some for salt curing  so we have a stash of ‘pickled olives’.

But now  we’re getting into it more seriously  and will be curing a few batches at the local Hunter pickling site……..

Marinate Your Olives

This is a very simple process.  Use the whole jar or simply a few.  Drain and wash to reduce the saltiness.  If you really want to reduce the salt leave them over night in water.

My favourite marinade is

crushed garlic

finely chopped rosemary

orange zest and cubes of orange

olive oil

or just orange juice and no oil.

Toss it all together.  It’s always best if you can do it a few hours before to let the flavours combine.

Most herbs go well with olives.  Parsley, basil and mint are my favourites….and add them last so they keep their shimmering greenness.

Finely sliced red onion is another good thing especially if you have chunks of orange with it.

fennel sliced,  or fennel seeds.

cumin seeds and crushed garlic.

Lamb cooked in White Wine, Garlic & Olives

Because we butcher our own lamb, we have odd cuts and need to use up the lesser ones- like the neck.  This recipe has been our favourite for quite some time.  You can use a whole shoulder ( good for guests ) or use neck chops, odd pieces, even shanks..

You’ll need around 1kg of meat – at least

A big bulb of garlic roughly chopped

A cup of black olives. Pitted if you have time, but I usually use whole ones

A long sprig of rosemary – leaves off.

2 anchovies

Brown the meat, add salt and pepper, add the anchovies and mix, then the garlic and rosemary -  just toss it in. Mix it up, then add a bottle of wine or less if you feel stingy and bring it to a simmer, add olives.

Cook in a slow oven with the lid off for at least 2 hours.

Because my oven is hopeless and I’m unsure of temperatures,  if the meat is soft after two hours but there’s a lot of liquid left I either lift the meat out and fast boil the juice or let it cook a little longer.

You need some juice though to put over the meat when served.

(The other dish I do which is very similar - the same meat but  with red wine, sweet paprika, thyme, quince paste and garlic -  is also good!)