Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Curing Home Grown Olives

I finished the olives I started a few weeks ago. I ended up with only one jar this time, but really that is enough, since I still have another jar left from last year and I just do it for fun. My husband loves olives, so this is a fun thing to do at home and it is so easy.
Here are the steps in photos:
Start by harvesting the olives from your tree and washing them.
I had 1 1/2 pounds of olives, from green to dark purple. As long as they are not soft, they are good to cure.

 Cut an "X" in the bottom of each olive.
Dissolve 1/4 c. Kosher salt in 1 quart water. Put olives in a bowl and pour water over.
Keep olives submerged by weighing down the with a plate or a plastic bag filled with water.
Cover and let sit. This removes the bitterness from the olives. Change the water every week, rinsing the olives and then covering again with 1T. of Kosher salt dissolved in 1 quart of water. If you get a scum it is ok. Just rinse it off every week.
Continue this for 3 weeks or as long as needed to remove bitterness. The only way to check is to taste. Mine only took 2 weeks this year because they were small.
 The olives after one week in the brine.
 When the olives are no longer bitter mix:
1 T. Kosher salt with 2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
2 whole, peeled garlic cloves
1/2 lemon cut into chunks
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. (or less) red chili flakes
Stir together with olives and then pour enough olive oil to cover by 1/4 inch.
Let sit 2-4 days.
Remove lemon and garlic and then put into jars, cover with marinade.
Will keep 1-2 months on the shelf or in the fridge for 6 months.
The finished product

The canning/storage  area for all my yummy creations
and about 80 bottles of wine!