Sunday, January 15, 2017

Food I'm Eating: Curing Green Olives (January 2017)

I've cured ripe black olives in the past, olives from the tree in our yard and from a neighbor's tree, but never tried to cure green olives before. Usually olives are starting to ripen here as early as October, depending on variety, and nearly all are fully ripe by December. I had access this year to a number of trees at a winery tasting room where I work part-time. One of the trees has green fruit even now. I don't know what variety it is, but I decided to try green olives.

Recipes for curing black olives with brine always start with salt water from day one. Most green olive recipes, however, recommend soaking the olives in fresh water to start and then finishing them in brine. Recommended water soaks seem to range from four days to a month, with many recipes recommending 10 days. I'll probably seek a middle path and try waiting about two weeks before switching to brine. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, large ripe olives from another tree at the tasting room were already looking good in early November. Those olives are now finishing in brine with a touch of vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary and several crushed cloves of garlic. They are just about ready (below).

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