I love olives. When they are marinated they perfectly complement a cheese platter and a good bottle of wine. They’re also fab on pizza or as a tapenade for a bruschetta. Although I have an olive tree, unfortunately it’s too young to produce fruit yet…I’m still waiting. Luckily, my lovely step mother has two bountiful trees that produced a bumper crop this year, so I managed to score two buckets full (green and black). Yayee
There are numerous ways to prepare olives before you can eat them. My step mother was told by her Italian friends to soak them in water (changing the water daily) for forty days! That’s a long time. After reviewing a few online resources, I found one that was quick and relatively painless.
For the black olives, I needed to soak them in water, changing the water daily, for four days and six days for the green olives. Unfortunately over this time the green olives developed a lot of brown spots and started to go bad, so I had to throw them out before I could pickle them. I believe different olive varieties may need to be treated differently. Anyway, I still had a whole bucket of lovely black olives.
After I soaked the olives, I washed and prepared the olives by discarding any with blemishes. With a sharp knife I made two length ways cuts into each olive, down to the stone (one cut on either side of each olive).
While I was doing this I also prepared the brine, by dissolving 1/3 cup cooking salt for each litre of water I needed. I made two litres; so 2/3 cup of salt was added. I then let the brine cool for a couple of hours.