The olive (fruit) tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks used to smear olive oil on their bodies and hair as a method of grooming and good health. There are many types of olives, depending on the region they were grown in and how they were cured.
When growing up, I can still remember my father taking my sister and me to an Italian Deli shopping on Saturdays. The aroma from all those different cheeses, salamis, and freshly baked breads was mesmerizing. One item he always bought–black salt cured olives. Our family served them as a side dish or added to salads and in pasta sauces. Cured bitter black olives are also delicious with warm French bread.
Here's his recipe:
· 1 Pint black cured olives
· 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
· 1/2 tsp. crushed red Chile (optional)
· 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
· 3-4 tbs. olive oil
· 1 qt. empty plastic container
· Place black olives in quart container –filling with water to top
· Let olives sit for a few hours to remove excess salt
· Drain water from quart container
· Add rest of ingredients; place top on and shake.
· Let sit at room temperature for a few hours before refrigerating
Just a few of the many health and nutrient benefits of black olives are: