Betsy's Home Cured Olives

Brine cured olives

 Olives can be picked at almost any stage once they are mature. The darker the olive, the more oil it has and the nuttier it will taste. Just make sure they are still firm and not soft.

 Put olives into a glass jar (1 gallon). Cover with clear water and use a weight to keep the olives under the water. Drain the olives daily and recover with fresh water for 10 days. This process is done to remove the natural yeasts from the olives to prevent fermentation during curing.

Hint: A Ziploc sandwich baggie partially filled with water makes a wonderful weight.

After ten days, cover the olives with a brine solution of cup kosher salt to 1 gallon of water. Each week, rinse the olives and use new brine. After 4 weeks, start checking the olives to see that the bitterness is gone. (Larger olives may take two to three months). Once the bitterness is extracted, the olives can be kept by storing them in a weak brine solution (1/4 cup kosher salt to 1 gallon of water), one cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing and one cup cider vinegar. Store in a dark, cool place. The longer they stay in the brine-vinegar solution, the more flavor they will take on.

Other flavor suggestions include addition of any of the following to the solution: orange or lemon rind, rosemary, garlic, oregano, etc.

 

Greek Olives (Salt Cured)

 Use only fully ripe olives which are black, either firm or only slightly soft. Wash olives well to remove dirt and dust. 

1.       Line wooden boxes or baskets with burlap or cheesecloth. Alternate layers of rock salt and olives in the box. (Make sure you have something below the box to catch the liquid which will drain from the olives.)

2.       Once a week, change the salt for four weeks, or until they are shriveled and no longer bitter.

3.       To serve, dip olives in boiling water for 10 seconds, dry on paper towels 4-6 hours and serve.

4.    To store olives:
a.    Pack in jars with coarse salt, cover tightly and store in refrigerator. To serve, see step 3.
b.    Pack in jars with extra virgin olive oil and herbs/lemon, orange rind as desired. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator.  To serve, see step 3.