Wednesday, 17 February 2016


Rarely can I resist the offer of some produce and such was the case with the two kilograms of black olives that were offered by my friend Nicole a couple of months ago. Two months in the making but well worth the wait.

The process of preserving olives is not difficult. It is a little time consuming part to cut a slit into each olive, however, once this is done there is relatively little work involved. This batch was made using the hot brine method.

The Process
Stage One

Sterilise the jar.

Wash olives, cut a slit into each olive and pack into the sterilised jar.

Make the brine solution and pour the hot brine over the olives. Leave olives for four to six weeks.

Make sure the olives are fully submerged. I cut a disk of plastic and push holes into the plastic with a skewer. The plastic will bend and you can get it into the neck of the jar and place it over the olives. The plastic acts as a weight and keeps the olives under the brine.

Stage Two

After four  to six weeks drain olives.

Return olives to jar and cover with vinegar. Leave overnight or for a day or two.

Stage Three

Drain olives.

Wash, dry and sterilise the jar.

Place a layer of olives into the cold sterilised jar. Add a chilli, bay leaf and a few slivers of garlic.

Continue to fill the jar by adding layers of olives with slivers of garlic, chilli and bay leaves.

Once all the olives are used up fill up the jar with good quality oil. I use grape seed but olive or light olive could also be used.

Place the plastic weight back into the jar and leaves olives for a couple of weeks before using.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the olives. The oil can be strained and used for cooking and dressings.

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