I have a slightly different method of home curing olives with water and/or brine. Many recipes suggest a ten day period of leeching the bitterness out of the olives, changing fresh water daily before seasoning your olives for further curing and storage.
I use a brine method that generally takes a month, changing the water weekly. I have found this works best for me, and preps the olives for further seasoning and actually hot water bath canning in mason jars. You can store the olives longer, and of course, we label them for gifts to give to friends and family for the holidays.
Some methods suggest you MUST use a pressure cooker for canning to avoid the growth of bacteria. I can’t say whether that’s true or not.
I am nearly at the one month benchmark for the first batch that Penna sent me, and yesterday, I received a second order of ten pounds of mammoth Sevillano olives. “Mammoth” in the US run to the smaller range, if you want very large, opt for the “Colossal” – see the size comparisons here. Sevillano are large, meaty, and ideal for curing in a “Sicilian” style, which is my personal preference.
Manzanilla olives, which are sometimes called “Spanish” are the type of fruit you often use for garnish and sandwiches. Fresh Manzanillas are now available to order from Penna.
So I put my second order in the “drink” yesterday; I thoroughly rinsed the olives, and then hand-sliced each and every one of the thousand olives that arrived. This hand-slicing (or cracking with a rubber mallet) is necessary to allow the bitterness of the olives to come out during the washing process. Slicing as opposed to the hammer method makes a neater appearance, preferred by some.
Every week I will change the brine (1/4 C kosher salt per gallon of water), washing the olives at each change and using a clean jar.
At the end of the month (or when the bitterness of the fruit is gone to my personal satisfaction), I will begin the process of flavoring and canning.
In the photo, on the right hand side, you can see part of the first batch, and how they have darkened in the wash over time.
(Ed note: This sponsorship is brought to you by Penna Gourmet Foods who we have partnered with for this promotion.)