Make Ahead

Brine Cured Olives with Lemon and Garlic

October 22, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Serves 1 quart
Author Notes

I have always loved olives, from when I was a little girl sucking big black ones off my fingertips to the huge array at delis. The best, though, are the ones that you cure yourself. It's the olive season now (October -November) the trees are laden with olives that are green and some that are black- when the tree mix is a little more green than black, it is time to pick...for oil and for curing. I've tried different methods of curing (like whacking each olive and soaking in water for 10 days) but since my olive guru told me about this method, it is the only way I cure my olives. Be prepared: the olive/brine will ferment and go through an "ugly" phase. Do not be daunted! Even when the top layer looks scary the olives will be OK if the brine is correct. —dymnyno

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds olives...I prefer green ones, the black are too mushy
  • 1 quart brine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional) If you use garlic, poach it first to thoroughly cook before adding
  • fennel bulb, sliced (optional)
  1. Make a brine. Into a quart of water add enough salt so that a egg will float (start with 1/2 cup and keep adding until the egg floats)
  2. Wash the olives and pick out any that are not perfect.
  3. Put half the olives in the jar.
  4. Put in the lemon slices (you can add garlic and/or fennel slices if you want, too) . Add the rest of the olives.
  5. Pour the brine to the top of the jar, just covering the olives.
  6. Top with a thin layer of olive oil.
  7. Close the jar, but do not seal. I use a baggie and put the closure over that
  8. Put the jar in the refrigerator or a very cool room for at least 6 months.
  9. When you open the jar the olive oil will be solid and messy. Take as many olives as you need and rinse them and then sprinkle with olive oil, herbs or eat plain.
  10. Keep refrigerated and put another thin layer of olive oil on the top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizthechef
  • Sodium Girl
    Sodium Girl

2 Reviews

Lizthechef November 17, 2010
I admire your efforts! Hope the new crop is a winner!
Sodium G. December 10, 2009
I can't wait to try this recipe - I am picking up some uncured olives today to attempt a new salt version. Beautiful picture by the way!