>Olives and olive oil

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This morning we went Christmas shopping, but in a very non-commercial way as we’re avoiding shopping centres this year, buying food and presents from local shops, markets and the internet for the sake of the environment and because we enjoy it more than the desperate rush around city shops.  So today we went to the olive oil cooperative at Clermont-l’Hérault.

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The cooperative is easy to spot because of this lovely old olive press standing outside.  More modern equipment is used now, as in the new mill in Gabian

DSC00520 .Among other things, we bought some Lucques olives, and two varieties of olive oil including a Lucque ‘huile de Noël’, a lovely fresh-tasting oil which we’ll save for Christmas.

 

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We drove back in bright sunshine past vineyards which are almost leafless now, this stone shelter built into the terrace beneath an olive grove (left, above) and a mazet (vine workers’ shelter) (right, above) with a fig tree and a chestnut tree growing next to it.

Curing our Lucque olives

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DSC00539 I pricked each olive several times with a fork, mixed them in a bowl with some chopped dried oregano, bay leaves and salt.  Then covered them all with a good layer of salt.
I’ve left them in a cool place and they should be ready to eat in about ten days’ time.

This recipe comes from Max Lambert, L’Olivier et la Préparation des Olives.  I’m hoping the olives will be ready for our Christmas day aperitifs in the garden.

Mussels with cream and pastis sauce

As it’s one of the days when the coquillage producer comes to the village from Bouzigues, we had mussels for lunch, an experiment with crème fraiche and pastis – an experiment which worked very well!  Mussels and sauce were delicious.  We opened a bottle of Muscat sec, bought last week at Saint Preignan, which was the perfect accompaniment – not too dry and a lovely flavour.

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The recipe is on the Mediterranean cuisine blog.

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4 thoughts on “>Olives and olive oil

  1. >That stone shelter is not too dissimilar to the cabanas we have, somewhere to shelter and keep tools, made out of what is to hand. I shall try the olives in salt, thought it seems a very quick process! But if it works that's good!

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