Olive preparation and preserving

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

black and green olives
black and green olives

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.

I sterilised some jars by placing them in boiling water in a large saucepan for 10 minutes. I only had a few preserving jars with a rubber ring and clip on top, so I also used some jam jars. 

sterilise jars for 10 minutes
sterilise jars for 10 minutes

I put the olives in the sterilised jars and poured in the brine to just cover the olives. To seal them in the jars, I then added some olive oil on top – as we all know oil and water don’t mix, so the oil stays on top and seals the olives.

I’ll now leave them in the pantry for 6 weeks.

Olives in brine and sealed with olive oil
Olives in brine and sealed with olive oil



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kentucky Angel says:

    You are so lucky to have olives. I love them so much also, and would have cried at throwing the green ones out. I always have olives in my pantry and in the fridge, ready to eat alone, on pizza, on bruschetta, with cheese, in pasta dishes. Oh goodness, with everything.


    1. aseparovic says:

      Yes, I was upset over throwing the green olives out. What a waste. I’ll do another post on marinating the olives soon. Cheers Amy


      1. Kentucky Angel says:

        Wonderful. I always have olives on hand just to make sure I have something for snacks. Have to have the black ones of course, and at least one variety of green, more if I can afford them.


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