If you are a regular reader, you will remember I was given the chance to cure fresh olives at home from Penna-Great Olives this fall. They shipped me a box of olives, they were very generous and sent 2.5 pounds of olives. I was faithful to my daily duty to curing the olives using the Mediterranean Partida style of curing fresh olives at home.
I am happy to report the olives are now in their respective jars with seasoning and brine to cure for a little longer before I begin tasting them. I used a several flavor combinations for the olives. In two jars I used lemon slices and sprigs of fresh oregano. In another two jars I used lemon slices and a Mediterranean spice mix and in the final jar I used an additional chili pepper with the spice mix. I’m going to add in some garlic cloves to two of the jars to give them some kick. I ended up filling almost 5 quart jars full of olives.
I never really thought about what was used to cure olives I bought at the store. They come in jars without any seasonings visible so this is something new for me. The nice folks at Penna Olives are ready to sell fresh olives to anyone who would like to try out home curing with fresh olives. It’s really not difficult. Here is a review of the process to this point:
1. Rinse and sort olives, tossing any bruised or bad olives. I think there were about three in my box.
2. Using a sharp knife, slice into each olive or using a mallet, break the skin of each. This allows the bitterness to leach out in the water.
3. Find a jar or plastic container to put the olive in and fill with clean water until the olives are covered. Be sure they stay under the water, using a plate if necessary.
4. Change the water twice daily for a minimum of 10 days but I went to 21 days. Here are my olives after 21 days.
5. Rinse and sort olives again, checking for mushy olives that might have not been covered by the water the whole time.
6. Decide on your flavor combinations and make a brine. I used 3/4 cup red wine vinegar, 4 1/4 cups bottled water, and 5 Tbsp kosher salt. I added enough brine to each of the jars to fill and cover the olives. At this point the jars go into the refrigerator.
7. Wait another 4-5 days and you can taste the olives. They can keep for up to one year. Enjoy!