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25 responses to “How to Make Oil-Cured Olives”

  1. Michael Condon

    I oil cured some a couple years ago. I used a brine rather than dry salt. I refreshed the brine every two days. I will have to give the dry salt method a try. Seems simpler. Picking in Spring also sounds like a good idea. Everything happens at once in the fall/winter.


  2. Trent

    Oil cured olives. To me, the words act like the ringing of the bell did for Pavlov’s dogs. The best commercially available olives cured this way that I’ve had were from Morocco, but I’ve purchased some at the local co-op that came from who knows where that were absolute crap. A faculty member in my dept. went to CA last spring and picked some black olives to cure, and they were the best I’ve had. Thanks for putting your recipe/methods down on paper. I need to do this, and I appreciate the inspiration.

  3. Crystal

    Your green olive posts are what endeared me to your writing, and since then I’ve dreamed of living somewhere where I could pick and cure my own olives (soon, I hope).

    I’m now looking forward to black olives too.

    Thank you!

  4. Alectorix

    Buena receta, yo vivo rodeado de olivos.
    Saludos desde JaƩn.

  5. Kevin

    Saw some olive trees at the local big-box home-improvment store the other day that were rated for zone 8. Too bad I don’t have a spot for them. (Damn you, you ~75 y.o. pecan tree).

  6. Bill

    I did some lye-cured olives back in my college days and the end product was delicious. I’d love to do it again, but guess what? Lye isn’t as easy to find as it once was. I think I used a bottle of DRANO to do the trick…

  7. Paula

    I got turned on to oil-cured olives in high school when I followed a buddy of Italian extraction home and her nonni gave us bread and oil-cured olives for an after school snack. I’ve been a fan since then and we won’t talk about how long ago that was.

    Bill May should know that food-grade lye can be had from; it where my husband gets his for his soft pretzel making.

  8. Jeff @ Cheeseburger

    Excellent guide on making oil-cured olives. I’ve always wanted to try this but never had the time nor the knowledge.

  9. Daniel Roloff

    Another reason I am glad Ifound your site, I gotta try this next spring. NAS Lemoore has 9 trees I know of and I will plunder them this year. :D

    Keep doing what you do.

  10. prasanna

    i have waste my black olives 4 last few years ,try too many ways,yours seems to be very easy ,hope it works on my black olives

  11. The Great Olive Experiment | Home Produce by Simon

    […] Batch #4: Hunter Angler Gardner Cook’s Oil Cured Olives […]

  12. Rose White

    I have an old family recipe that calls for boiling the olives for 5 minutes before allowing the olives to cool to lukewarm and then oil curing them. Here in Wisconsin, we don’t have olive trees. Any idea where I would purchase the fresh olives?

  13. dave

    Rose in Wisconsin, I think you are out of luck on ‘purchasing’ fresh olives. We were just in California and saw some olive trees with ripe luscious black olives and asked the owner if we could pick some. They were more than happy to not let them hit the ground, so in about a half hour we had 10-ish pounds and they are sitting in cloth grocery bags with salt right now. Your best bet is to locate a friend of a friend and have them mail you some, maybe, but the black ones we picked were so soft and ripe I doubt they would ship well….
    we and our friends in Moab will soon be enjoying home cured olives!

  14. luke

    Can I use course sea salt? I happen to have a bunch of it.

  15. luke

    My compania has showed me that I have spelled coarse, as course. Anyways I am in a far away place for me, learning a different language. It is sale grosso, and usually people put it in pasta water. I looked up coarse salt, and came upon kosher salt, with references to pickling salt, and before I did that the olives were already hanging in the shed. Thanks for the precision articles, recipes, and the great writing. Whenever I come to look for a recipe I often get distracted by the drooling over of new and delicious things.

  16. chieko ann

    I just dry cured some colossal ripe, end of season Sevillano olives. Amazing! Mine were ready at a month. I put them in a gigantic non-reactive colander after totally covering them with salt. This was placed over a plastic tub to catch the drippings and covered with a towel. I don’t have any place outside to hang them so I made do. I did 10 lbs. Next year I’ll invest in some more and make a HUGE batch! I’ve done green and ripe in brine but I think I’ll stick to the dry salt cure. I’ve also experimented with using baking soda on the green to get rid of the acid that causes the bitterness. Did it with a small batch and I feel there’s promise for that method. Too bad one can’t get fresh olives all year! My house would become an olive processing plant! Lol!

  17. chieko ann

    @Rose White…you can order olives from Penna when they’re in season.

    I was able to get 10lbs with shipping for $30. Very reasonable. Start checking their website in mid-Oct for green. Those ripen up and then you can get the ripe in Nov.

  18. Ed

    My dry cured olives are very salty even after boiling them for a minute. Is there any way to get rid of some of the excess saltiness? Can I store them in water or in vinegar?

  19. Lauren

    Just finished my olives and I love them but everyone who tries one says there isn’t much meat on the stone (pit). Is that just the reaction to all the salt? Once the olives are re-covered with salt for storage, should they be put in the refrigerator or just in a dry place?

  20. Jen chimenti-nelson

    My folks leave theirs in the pantry, but I put mine in the fridge and let them come to room temp, just like cheese, before eating. Also, In Italy, a lot of times people will dress them with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, hot peperoncino, and maybe an herb, such as fennel or fennel pollen, or dried oregano, or fresh rosemary, etc. And always a hunk of really good Parmesan!

  21. sandra

    I have had a look at everyone’s ideas and comments. In Hawkes Bay, NZ we are known as fruit bowl country there isn’t a lot here that we can’t grow in the way of fruit and veg. I have my own olive tree and this is my first year giving cured olives a go, I have chosen to go with the pillow case idea, when I bought the tree I had no idea that you even have to cure olives, only had to try one straight off the tree. The pillow case is now hanging out side looking forward to seeing the results.

  22. Olive Hut

    Very helpful dried oil method! I work at The Olive Hut in Tehama County CA. We have so many local fresh olives/processed stuffed olives available. We are in the process of now curing our own version of the “dried Greek olives” Again very helpful, thank you:)

    BTW, If anyone has trouble finding fresh olives for home cure, we at the Olive Hut are able to ship fresh green or black olives anywhere in the United States.

  23. Roger

    These salt cured olives packed in olive oil will last for at least a year if stored in a cool place out of sunlight. No need to refrigerate either. More recipes for fresh olives

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