Tuesday, 19 June 2007

HOW TO PICKLE OLIVES

I like to pickle about 5 kg now but the first time I did it I had 3 kg and this is plenty to get started. Don't go for the big ones - I think small ones have a much better flavour and pack better in the jars.

3 kg black olives (I have never done it with green ones)
3 Tbl salt
12 Tbl olie oil
600mls white / cider vinegar
1.25 litres water ( boiled and cooled)
optional : 1 clove garlic / jar
1 small red chilli (or less)/ jar
dried oregano or other herbs
Method:
After picking , wash then slit each olive on 2 sides. Place in a large bowl and cover with ordinary tap water.
Change the water daily for 10 - 14 days, until you can bite into one and not spit it out in disgust ! It should still have flavour but not be unbearably bitter.
Sterilise some jars (I find 3kg makes about 12 medium jars) . Place olives into jars . Putting in some / all / none of the optional ingedients as you go.(I usually don't use any now because I prefer the real olive flavour)
Mix the boiled water, vinegar, salt and olive oil in a bowl. Pour into the jars making sure you cover the olives completely. Put on well - fitting lids.
That's it. Wait at least 2 weeks before starting to eat. You will find the flavour changes with time - some people prefer them with the ' fresh' taste you get after 2 weeks, others prefer the more mellow flavour after 6 months or more.
They should be stored in a cupboard but when you open a jar put it in the fridge if its a big jar / you think you might take ages to finish the jar / if the weather is hot. I always put open jars in the fridge in summer or they go mouldy, but I never do in winter as we eat them pretty fast and I don't use huge jars.
Good luck. Give me a ring if you have any questions or if you have any spare olives you don't have time to pickle !

3 comments:

liezl said...

my olives are getting soft, is this normal?

Judy Warrillow said...

Am just starting,never dreamt I would be picking and pickling them.Am 56yo and have just been pickling olives from my neighbours three trees.I find the experience so very real and relaxing.Have been on the compter and finding out from the various sites "how to Pickle" and they seem all so interesting,so I am going to try all to see which one I like and what my friends like from this ,my first picking and pickling of olives and you would not believe but I am from Papua New Guinea!!

Kate said...

Oh Judy.... no-one from Papua New Guinea has ever left a comment here before! I do hope you will also visit my other blog http://vegetablevagabond.blogspot.com
and Maggie's
hillsandplainsseedsavers.blogspot.com
Good luck with the olives.
Kate