As you know, I am always inspired at the market. When we bought our tiny 1/3 of a farmhouse in the hills outside of Certaldo, they wanted about $10,000 for 10 olive trees and an extra piece of land in the back of our house. I don't know about you, but I can buy a LOT of olive oil for $10,000 and taking care of olive trees for this city girl and her hubby, means WORK. So, we let that go and I can buy incredible olive oil directly from the local cooperative.
I live in the middle of olive groves and have enough friends with olive trees that I can usually get a kilo or so of olives to prepare under salt, which my husband adores.
We can by oven-roasted versions year round from local vendors from Naples and Sicily as well as Maroccon versions at the grocery store.
To prepare your own, if you have fresh black olives:
Layer the olives with sea salt ( or kosher salt).
I do this in large glass jars with a lid, like the one in the foto.
Each day, drain off the water which forms at the bottom of the jar.
When the olives stop giving off water, they are ready.
Rinse off the excess salt.
Dry on a towel and then season.
I drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, orange zest, chili flakes and garlic. ( if you are saving, use dried garlic slices not fresh to avoid problems.)
I buy a mix of dried garlic and chili with herbs for pasta sauce in Italy and can use that.
I keep in the fridge. They don't last long in this house!
Try giving a kick to olives you buy or even oven roasting some black olives to give them more personality!