Antipasto plate of House Brined Kalamata olives, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Marinated artichoke hearts and Persian Feta.
To brine the olives was very easy but you must have patience and a lot of salt. First of all I washed the olives under running water and discarded any bruised or badly blemished olives. I then made holes in each olive by stabbing into the flesh of the olive with a fork, leaving four holes for the oils to seep out and for the brine to penetrate. I then made a brine of half a cup sea salt to 10 cups of water. I placed the olives into a plastic bucket and poured the brine over the olives to cover them completely, using a heavy plate to keep them submerged but at the same time being careful not to create air pockets. I then secured the bucket with a lid and placed the olives into a dark, cool area of the house and covered the bucket with a towel. For the first 2-3 weeks I drained the olives from the brine and prepared a fresh brine daily. After about 3 weeks most of the oil had seeped out and the brine wasn't tainting as frequent. But I never left the same brine in the bucket for more than 3 days at a time. After about 3 months the olives had become plump from taking on the brine and there was no bitter taste any more, they were ready to be marinated. To marinate these olives I used an assortment of green and black olives in a container with olive oil, chilli, orange peel and oregano. This was left to infuse the flavours, covered in the fridge for a week before being served with the accompaniments.