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The Home-Cured Olives Are Finished!


UPDATE: I canned the olives today! I used pint jars, put 1/4 teaspoon coriander, 1 big piece of lemon peel, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a bay leaf in each jar. I processed the jars at 10 pounds pressure for 40 minutes. Here is what they look like in the jars. Home-curing olives is pretty labor intensive but the result is pure heaven in a jar!

If you remember, back in November I bought some organic olives from Chaffin Family Orchards.  The process for home curing olives is long and you have to stay on top of it if you’re naturally fermenting them.

Here’s how I cured the olives and then the marinade I soaked some of them in.

First, I cracked the olives. Actually I just cut a slice into the olive, avoiding the pit.

Next, I soaked the cracked olives in water.

The soaking process takes about 1 month. I soaked them about 6 weeks. Each week after the third week, I opened up an olive and tasted the flesh. If it was still very bitter, I left the remaining olives in the soak. I changed the water twice a day. In all it took 6 weeks to get the olives to an acceptable level of bitterness. You don’t want to soak out all the bitterness, that’s part of what makes olives so tasty.

Once the olives were ready I put them in a brine to soak some more, but I used two different methods of brining. Always use sea salt that is not iodized. Iodized salt or salt with other ingredients can cause the olives to be too soft and the water to be murky and foggy.

Method 1

  • filtered or purified water
  • 1/4 cup unrefined sea salt per quart of water

Mix the water and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. Place olives in a glass jar or crock, cover with the salt water. Allow to sit in the frig for at least 2 weeks before eating. These are simple and good.

Method 2

  • filtered or purified water
  • 1/4 cup sea salt per quart of water
  • a large strip of lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon coriander per quart of water
  • 1 bay leaf per quart of water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic per quart of water
  • any other seasonings you like! Try chili peppers, I did and they are great in this.

Place olives in glass jars or a crock and cover with the salt water and spices.   I allowed some olives to sit at room temperature and naturally ferment for 1 week before putting them in the frig.  the rest of them were put immediately in the frig. The naturally fermented ones are the best, they have a pleasant tang along with the mellowness of the spices.

Before serving I fish the olives out of the brine (I save the brine and add some of the plain olives to it sometimes) and add a very high quality olive oil and let them come to room temperature. They are a hit with everyone and a delicious addition to an appetizer tray.

The end product is amazing. They are the best flavored olives I’ve ever had.


  1. Rosa Paulucci Machado

    Sensational!!! I admire your job.

    • Sylvia

      Oh Rosa, thank you! I need that encouragement. It was a real learning experience.

  2. Linda Boutz Morrissette

    Hi Sylvia, I was looking for free quilt patterns when I came across your site and was attracted immediately to Christian and your recipe for preserving olives. I love to cook and preserve so I am looking forward to what you and the other ladies are up to. I signed up for your news letter. Thanks!

    • Sylvia

      Linda, I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your comment, and I look forward to hearing from you more!