This morning I picked the olives from the older of our two trees, which we planted about five years ago. There were 178 undamaged ripe olives – more than double the 80 we picked last year. If the number carries on increasing at this rate I won’t be counting them individually next year!
I’m thinking of trying something new with them this year – dry salt curing. I’ve found a few recipes for this and the one on www.greek-recipe.com looks the simplest. The olives have to be rinsed and then layered with salt in a clay pot (other recipes suggest a basket or slatted box) for 1-2 months. Once cured they will not keep as long as brine-cured olives, but that shouldn’t be a problem as we’ll eat them quite quickly!
The olives on our smaller tree, the Lucques, are not quite ripe yet, so I’ll pick them in a week or so. I think I’d prefer to use the recipe I’ve used before for them, as I know it works, but more on this when they’re ready to be cured.
Some last tomatoes and more gifts …
While I was picking the olives and sowing some mangetout peas and more broad beans, Lo Jardinièr cleared the St Pierre and the Coeur de boeuf tomato plants. There were still some edible green and red tomatoes on the plants. Our neighbour gave us three pumpkins of different varieties, too. I hope they keep well as it will take us some time to eat them all. It's impossible to say no to people's generosity here.