We had the absolute enormous pleasure of welcoming Rosa Mitchell to Relish Mama last Saturday. Our guests were treated to an up close and personal experience with one very special lady and a very passionate foodie.
Rosa works damn hard here in Melbourne and spreading her message here and afar. She is soon off to Sicily as she is actively involved in the slow food movement. She’s a tiny little thing but is a mover and a shaker. It was lovely chat with her before the class. I often pinch myself regarding the amazing people I have met in my life and in the years of Relish Mama. Such passion, such love and such dedication.
Rosa left me with a huge bowl of olives. Here is Rosa’s stunning ‘Olives Siciliane’ recipe for you all to enjoy.
Rosa Mitchell’s olives Siciliane
2kg fresh green olives
450 g coarse salt
1 litre white vinegar
5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
3 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried aniseeds
Fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon chilli flakes (optional)
Pit your olives using a flat-bottomed bottle or meat tenderiser, give each one a little bang; it should crack open and you can remove the stone (wear gloves as olives stain your hands). Do a few at a time, then put them in a large bowl of cold water into which you’ve sliced 3 of the lemons. When you’ve pitted all the olives give them a stir in the water, then drain the water. Fill the bowl again with cold water (the ratio should be about one part olives to three parts water), add the other lemons, sliced, and about ½ cup of the salt. Leave the olives in this water for 24 hours.
Drain the olives well and transfer them to a deep tray that will hold them all. Loosely sprinkle with the rest of the salt and again leave for 24 hours. The salt will turn to liquid so mix the olives in this liquid, then drain very well. Rinse the tray, put the drained olives back in the tray, pour the vinegar over the olives and leave again for 24 hours.
Drains the olives, return to the tray and add the garlic, oregano, aniseeds, bay leaves and chilli flakes (if using). Mix well together. Now you can use small sterilised jars or 2 or 3 larger jars. (I like to use smaller jars because I give them as gifts.) Divide the olives evenly among the jars, trying to get a few pieces of garlic into each jar. Top up each jar with olive oil until all the olives are covered. Let them sit for about an hour for the oil to settle. If you need to top up the oil again, do so; if not, place a bay leaf on top of each jar, seal and leave for about 2-3 weeks before eating. They will keep for about 12 months.