Preserving olives. The challenge.

Preserving olives. The challenge.

My brother-in-law was recently telling me about their fruit laden olive trees, mentioning that it would be wasteful not to do anything with the olives.  I got the impression however that he wasn’t over enthusiastic about preserving them himself. So being the good sister-in-law that I am, I offered to try my hand at preserving them on the condition that if the final product was inedible, I would not be held to blame.

Having never preserved olives, I started to research exactly how to go about it. Do you pick them green, purple or black? How long do you brine them for? How do you know when they are ready? There is a lot of conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know exactly what process to follow.

I’ve chosen to test out 2 methods – brining and salt drying the olives. They say salt drying olives is better for black, almost over ripe olives. It’s also a little quicker than brining and is good for smaller olives.

So I spent Saturday harvesting the olives, simply by picking the fruit off the tree and I now have a bucket of green, purple and black olives soaking in water for brining and another small bowl of black olives only for salt drying. I think I can start the salt dried olives tomorrow. The others will need to soak for a few days.

If anyone has any advice, please do throw it at me – I’m all ears.  This is very much an experiment!

I’ll be posting here throughout the process in anticipation of the final result being absolutely spectacular.  If it’s not – hopefully someone will be able to learn from my mistakes!

If you would like see how this challenge unfolds, you can sign up to Slow Sundays on the right…


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