Morocco is the second largest producer of table olives in the world, and the sixth largest producer of olive oil.
As winter weather hits Morocco, people all over the country begin to collect olives from trees in their gardens and from expansive olive tree groves across the country to crush for olive oil. However, the best time to pick olives for pickling is in September when the green olives start to turn yellowish, showing that the delicious little fruits are ripe for picking.
Moroccans serve pickled olives as appetizers, with breakfast, and as an accompaniment to any main dish. Pickled olives are also a key ingredient in many tagines.
The Moroccan countryside sees olive groves spread over its vast and diverse landscape, producing various types of olive. Traditionally the red olives are used with chicken dishes, while black olives work better with tagines and fish dishes.
You can buy pickle olives in hanouts (local stores) and markets across the country, but it is just as easy to make them at home in a just a few simple steps.
There are only a few ingredients for this recipe:
2kg of green olives
Plenty of water
1 lemon, cut into cubes
Do not forget that you will also need a kilner jar for storage.
Let’s get pickling!
Clean the olives and drain, discarding any spoiled fruits.
Make 2 to 3 incisions in each olive.
Throw the olives into the jar and cover with water.
Place the jar in a dark place, and change the water every 24 hours for a week to 10 days.
After a week, taste the olives to see if they are ready for brining – they should not be bitter.
When the olives are ready, drain them, and put them back in the jar.
Now, add 100 grams of salt for every 1 liter of water.
Add lemon stir well to dissolve the salt. You can also add garlic and bay leaves for a different flavor.
Poor the brine over the olives and add some olive oil at the top to prevent the olives spoiling, then cover the jar.
Keep the jar from 7 to 8 weeks.
Serve them as they are or marinate them in herbs and olive oil.