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Olives • Ian


Water Curing "Smashed" or "Cracked" Olives

(Easy recipe)

(Recommended for large green olives)

Wash olives. With stone or mallet, crack the meat of the olive, taking care not to bruise the pit. Put the olives in a pan and cover with cold water for 6-8 days, changing the water twice a day, morning and evening, until the bitterness is gone (taste to test). When ready, fill the pan with brine * (about 1 part sea salt to 10 parts water) and lemon juice (about 1 part lemon juice to 10 parts water), transfer to jars if desired, and refrigerate for several hours before eating. **

Tips about Brine:

 ** For cracked olives, when they're ready to eat, transfer to a brine that's less salty to keep for long periods.

Salt-Cured Ripe Olives  

(Moderate recipe)

(Recommended for large green olives)


"This pungent recipe was given to me by an old Spanish man”



5 pounds green mature olives

1-1/2 quarts water

3 tablespoons salt

2 lemons cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 cups white wine vinegar

6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar

Olive Oil


Crack the flesh of the olives with a rolling pin, or by hitting each one individually with a hammer. Rinse with cold water. Place them in a stoneware, earthenware, glass, or porcelain jar and cover with cold water. Weight them with a piece of wood or a plastic bag filled with water (to keep the olives submerged) and keep them in a dark, cool place for ten days, changing the water every day.

Boil the water and dissolve the salt in it. Empty the liquid from the jar in which the olives have been soaking; rinse the olives in cold water and cover the olives with the salt brine. Mix in the lemons, oregano, vinegar, garlic, and cumin. Float enough olive oil on top to cover the surface. Store in a cool place for at least two weeks. The olives keep quite well for at least two months.


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