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occ's avatar

How do I cure olives?

Asked by occ (4080points) November 11th, 2006
I bought raw olives from the farmers' market and would like to cure them myself. They are green olives. I tried this last year and they didn't turn out well. I'm wondering if anyone out there has ever done this successfully, and, if so, could give (very specific) directions. Thanks!
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6 Answers

shenly's avatar
Good luck. Curing olives is one of the trickiest culinary endeavors you can get into. None of the non-lye methods have ever worked for me. If you find something that doesn't involve serious chemicals, let me know!
occ's avatar
UPDATE: I bought fresh olives at the farmers' market (generally only available in Sept/Oct). I cut a small slit on each olive, which helps to leach out the bitterness, and then soaked them in salt water (I found out it is impt to use rock salt, not the iodized table salt). A small fistfull of rock salt for a quart of water. Every couple days I changed the water, rinsed off the olives, and made a new salt-water mixture for the olives. It took a long time to leach out the bitterness, at least three weeks. Finally, I put the olives in a jar full of of olive oil with some fresh rosemary and a couple garlic cloves, and soaked them in that mixture for two weeks. They turned out pretty well!
occ's avatar
the better discovery that I made was that even if you don't have the patience to cure your own olives, you can infuse olive oil to have a lovely flavor by leaving it to soak in a jar with fresh rosemary and garlic cloves. It's a yummy treat to drizzle it on bread or other foods.
occ's avatar
if anyone wants to try curing their own, this was the recipe I found online that I ended up using, more or less: http://winosandfoodies.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/04/how_to_cure_oli.html
hossman's avatar
Obviously, you cure olives by sending them to the olive hospital. Thank you, I'm here all week.
Barbara's avatar

You should never add garlic cloves to olive oil unless they have been soaked in vinegar or lemon juice prior. There is some chemical reaction between raw garlic and the oil that could cause food poisoning. If the garlic turns blue don't eat the jar of olives.

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