Teta's Carrot and Green Beans Pickles in Olive Oil
Blue skies and landscapes crowned with olive trees, branches hanging heavy with this years olives crop. A festive season where families, men, women and children of all ages come together to harvest the olives. They pack a picnic and head early in the morning to their olive groves scattered all over the hills of Palestine. The olive groves are often passed on through generations. Not only the olive trees have a significant impact on the Palestinian economy but the ancient trees with their tough branches and deep roots are a powerful symbol of resilience, culture and the Palestinian identity.
It’s a family affair and it takes few days to gather all the olives depending how many trees the family owns. Children reach up toward the branches of the olive trees, piles of purple and green olives are collected on top of a large tarp, spread out on the ground right beneath.
Zeit zaytoun is the Arabic word for olive oil which is at the heart of the Palestinian cuisine. It’s used for dressings, marinades, and for sautéing vegetables and meats. Morning ritual in most Palestinian homes consist of two ceramic bowls at the heart of the kitchen table, one for olive oil and one for za'atar. Warmed khubez (pita bread) gets first dunked in the oil then in the Za’atar. To me this tradition is my Palestinian communion.
Fall is the time when olives are harvested and mostly made into olive oil, while some of it is used to make pickled olives that are pretty much enjoyed with every meal. But fall is also the season to celebrate new vegetables that are the main ingredient of many Palestinian dishes. With green beans and spicy peppers still growing in the garden it means one thing. Tetas carrot and green beans spicy pickles preserved in olive oil. My teta would prepare jars and jars of this delicious mixture for her mouneh cabinet “pantry”. This mixture is delicious with Labaneh, on top of hummus, in a sandwich or with grilled meats and veggies.
And I really enjoy the taste of the olive oil after, as it sits and gets infused with all the chili’s, vegetables and garlic flavors, its get richer and more delicious with time. #الزيت_عماد_البيت
Yield: 3 to 4 cups
Time: 30 min active time
1/4 cup sea salt
2 cups carrots diced small about 6-7 carrots
2 cups fresh green beans trimmed and chopped into small rounds about 1/2 a pound
4 to 8 serrano peppers or jalapeños, diced or thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups olive oil
Combine 2 cups water and the salt in a glass bowl. Mix until the salt is dissolved. Add the carrots, serrano's, and green beans to the salt water and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, drain and rinse the vegetables. In a clean sterilized jar add the vegetables, add the minced garlic toss well to combine and cover with the two cups of oil or until the vegetables are completely submerged in the olive oil. This Palestinian style Giardiniera will only get better with time. It can keep in the fridge for months. Or if fully submerged in olive oil it can stay in a dry place in the pantry.
Why the salt soak?
Soaking the cut veggies in a salt water solution allow for some of the moisture in the vegetables to be drawn from the tissues, which helps to preserve crisp texture through the pickling process.
Soaking in a saltwater brine allows the correct bacteria to ferment and break apart the sugars in the vegetables
This is delicious eaten on top of Labaneh, hummus, in a sandwich, with roasted or grilled meats. I just love it with warm pita bread.