It will soon be Olive picking season (October to January) so how do you turn a freshly picked olive into a succulent edible one? If you have ever tried to eat an olive straight from the tree, you will know what I mean - it's VERY bitter and VERY hard.
If you use the method below, you will end up with wonderful sweet olives and you can add all sorts of herb combinations to create your own special marinated olives. The local Cypriots tend to use other methods of "sweetening" olives, mainly using LARGE quantities of salt, sometimes they cure them by covering them with salt for a week! If you have tried olives in Cyprus and hated them, this could be the reason why!
- Make a slit in each olive or crack each one open carefully with a wooden mallet.
- Put the olives in a large bowl and cover with water.
- Change the water daily for two weeks to extract the bitterness and make the olives "sweet".
- After 14 days, drain the olives and place in a solution of brine made with 100g salt/1 litre water for every kilo of olives - leave for 2 days.
- Drain again and place in a solution of vinegar and water made with 1 part water to 4 parts vinegar for a further two days.
- Finally, drain the olives again and store them in olive oil and herbs of your choice OR a mix of 3 parts brine (made as above) to 1 part vinegar covered with a layer of oil.
Have fun and enjoy!
See also How to make scented Olive Oil