Dry cured olives for entertaining and family dinners
My favourite olives both to make and to eat are dry cured. These are so easy to prepare that it’s generous to say that I “made” them.
They have other advantages aside from the ease of preparation too. Dried olives last considerably longer than brine cured, and the salt used in curing the olives becomes infused with the olive essence.
- 10 lbs Black Olives
- 9 lbs Kosher Salt
- Wash the olives by soaking them for 15 minutes in water that has had vinegar added to it
- Pick through the olives, removing any that show signs of decay
- Pour a layer of salt into a jar or plastic container
- Cover this layer with a layer of olives
- Cover that layer with salt and repeat until all ingredients are used
- Put the lid on, leave it at the back of a dark shelf, and leave them for a month.
- They will look a bit soupy at this point
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the olives to a new container with fresh kosher salt, reserving the original salt for later use
- At this point, if you want the olives to be pitted, they will be soft, making it easy to press the seeds out. I prefer to do this for myself as the olives are needed,
- When they are sufficiently dry, remove them from the salt and store them in vaccum-sealed bags or in jars with olive oil and kept in the refrigerator
When fully cured, the olives will lose about 50% of their weight, as the moisture is drawn out into the salt. We use the delicious salt that is produced from this in cooking, to cure meat, and to season baguettes. Over time, the juices from the olives will settle to the bottom of the jar. We then top the jar up with more salt as needed, mixing it in to distribute the juices. It has been three years since we made the last batch of olives, but we are still using the olive scented salt, to which we have added at least 5lbs of fresh kosher salt. It’s also much prized as a gift by our foodie friends.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Love this! I do a very similar thing but I just put the olives in a pillow case with plenty of salt and hang it somewhere with something underneath to catch drips. I occasionally toss the contents around to redistribute the layers of salt and olives, and that’s basically it! I do like the idea of your method though, to actually collect the olive juice. I do reuse the salt from my method, but it doesn’t taste very olive-y. What I’ve been wondering about is of the curing salt could be considered beneficial, healthwise, since it contains the bitter oleuropein that’s drawn out of the olives and oleuropein has been touted as a health supplement. I don’t know if the salt itself affects the polyphenol’s benefits though. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I’ve also wondered about the potential health benefits but haven’t had a chance to find an expert to query about this yet. I mainly focused on making sure that it wasn’t a health risk. It’s an interesting question though. I’ll have to find out. Thanks for commenting, and asking your question, I appreciate it.