Arabic smoked olive recipe.
Take olives when fully ripe. If you want take them black, and if you want take them green, except that the green are better for smoking. Bruise them and put some salt on them, as much as needed, and turn them over every day until the bitterness goes away. When they throw off liquid, pour it off. When the bitterness is gone from them, spread them out on a woven tray until quite dry.
Then pound peeled garlic and cleaned thyme, as much as necessary. Take the quantity of a dirham of them, and a piece of walnut with its meat in it, and a dirham of wax, and a piece of cotton immersed in sesame oil, and a piece of date seed. Put these ingredients on a low fire on a stove [kanun] and seal its door, and put the tray the olives are in on top of it, and cover it with a tray so that it is filled with the scent of this smoke, which does not escape. Then leave it that way for a whole day.
Then you return them to a container large enough for them and mix the pounded garlic and thyme with them, and a little crushed walnut meat, and a handful of toasted sesame seeds. Take as much fresh sesame oil as needed and fry it with cumin seeds, and throw them on it and mix them with it.
Then take a greased pottery jug [barniyya] and smoke it in that smoke. Put the olives in it and cover the top, and it is put up for [several] days. It is not used until the sharpness of the garlic in it is broken.- The Book of the Description of Familiar Foods
I did not have any way to smoke the olives so I used bottled liquid smoke.
Take a mix of black and green olives which are pitted and add a few drops of liquid smoke. Toss the olives to distribute the smoke evenly. Let the olives sit while you prepare the rest of the seasonings.
Mash garlic cloves using a mortar and pestle, add thyme and crush further. Add this mixture to your olives. Fry cumin seeds in sesame oil. Add the cumin and the oil it was fried in, chopped walnuts and toasted sesame seeds. Mix well. Cover and let them rest for at least 2 days at room temperature.
About This Ingredient
… According to food historian Alan Davidson, the fruit of the wild olive, or oleaster, had been gathered by Neolithic peoples as early as 10,000 B.C. The wild tree was probably brought into cultivation in the Near East about 3000 B.C., and olive culture spread to Crete, Greece, Italy, Southern France, and Spain in the following three millennia.From the Met Museum of Art, Light and Life Friday, February 3, 2012 blog post, retrieved March 2022
Arberry, Arthur John., Charles Perry, and Maxime Rodinson. Medieval Arab Cookery = aṭ- Ṭabīḫ Al-ʻarabī Fi l-ʻuṣūr Al-wusṭā. Blackawton, Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books, 2006.