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Curing Olives

  • This method may be used for any type of olive, but is best with
  • green to red.

Wash olives and remove stems. Mold tends to form at the stem depression, so keep an eye on them. If mold forms during processing, wash it off. Pierce or crack large olives place in a container and cover with cold water. Change the water each day for 10 days. Rinse olives in a colander and return to container. Cover with a brine ( 1Tbs pickling or kosher salt to 1 Qt water). Cure for at least a month. Taste one. If the bitterness hasn't leached out, wait another week and taste again. Store olives, refrigerated, in fresh brine. For a salt cure to be used with ripe black olives: Take a five-gallon crock. To keep the olives off the bottom of the crock, cut a circular piece of plywood whose diameter is maybe an inch less than the diameter of the crock. Nail two chunks of wood, two-by-fours, to the plywood circle so that it now sits about five inches off the bottom. There will be maybe a gallon of juice down there by the time the olives are finished. Put a layer of rock salt on the plywood bottom, (you could use any kind of salt). Use a lot of salt, 10 to 20 pounds. On top of the salt, put a layer of ripe olives, then another layer of salt, another layer of olives and so on until you're close to the top. Every olive should have as much contact with salt as possible. When the crock is fairly full, take another circular piece of plywood - this one can be more closely fitted - and set it on top of the olives and weight it. The more weight, the better: use a big plastic bucket filled with water. Start tasting the olives in about 30 days. The should be ready after about 35 days, five weeks. When the olives are ready, take them out of the crock, rinse them, put them in a bucket of water and let them soak for a few minutes to leach out the excess salt. Drain them, spread them out on paper towels on a table and let them dry. They'll dry faster if you turn a fan on them. Brush them with oil and store them loose in plastic tubs in the refrigerator.

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