There is an olive tree in our neighbor’s backyard that peeks just enough over the fence to allow us to pick some of its small, bitter, black olives. Now, after tasting one today (yuck), I am inspired to cure some of them! The process takes about 6 weeks so the ones I make should be ready around the end of October. This will be my first time curing anything and hopefully they turn out delicious. The olives just fall off the tree, so why not make something of them. When life gives you olives… cure them!
Here is the recipe I am using:
Brine Curing: Best for Red or Black Olives
- Cut the olives. Make a vertical cut down the olive using a sharp knife; make sure not to cut the pit.
- Place the olives in a brine. Brine is made of salt and water. One-fourth of a cup of salt to one quart of water is fine, but it varies depending on who you ask. Since my batch is pretty small, I used 1 1/4 cups of water and 1/8 cup of salt. The ratio should be about 1o parts water to 1 part salt. I also added 3 cloves of garlic that I gently smashed for taste. Make sure the container they are in is deep enough so that none of the olives or cloves of garlic are poking out. You might have to weigh them down with something. I used a tupperware with a glass bowl on top of the olives.
- Cover the container.
- Wait. This will be the hardest part of the curing process. Shake the container daily. You do not have to change out the brine very often; once a week is fine. This can take up to six weeks or more depending on what type of olive you are using; somewhere around three weeks is a good time to start tasting the olives for bitterness.
- Jar the olives. Once they taste good, remove the olives from the old brine. Make a new batch of brine, and fill jars with it. Put the olives in the jars, and top off the jars with four tablespoons red wine vinegar, and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. They should keep for a very long time if properly stored.
- Label the jar. Click the template below to use as a label for your newly cured olives once they are done. Simply print on sticker paper or just tape or glue to your jar. It also might be helpful to put the date on the label so you can keep track of freshness.