Water Curing Olives!

Water curing is the second process I have completed. This process is easy but takes a long time. Once you have finished the water cure your brine is 1/4 cup kosher salt to 4 cups water, plus 1/2 cup of white wine, cider or simple white vinegar. Submerge the olives in this brine and top with cheesecloth or something else to keep them underwater.

Here is how to water cure your olives:

Place the olives in a plastic bin and cover with cold water. Use a food-grade plastic bin with a lid. Completely cover all of the olives with water, making sure none are poking out. You may need to weigh them down with something a plate to keep them from floating above the surface of the water. Place the bin’s cover loosely over the olives and put the container in a cool, dark place. A glass container also works well, but you’ll need to make sure it isn’t exposed to sunlight.

Change out the water. At least once a day, change out the water with fresh, cold water. Make sure you don’t forget, since otherwise bacteria could build up in the water and taint the olives. To change the water, just strain the olives through a colander, wash the pot/jar, replace the olives and fill it back up with cold water.

Continue the process for about a week. After one week of changing the water daily, taste an olive to see if the bitterness is at a level you like. If it is, the olives are ready; if you want the olives to be less bitter, wait a few more days (changing the water daily) before moving on.

Make a finish brine. This is the solution that the olives will be stored in. It’s a mixture of pickling salt, water and vinegar that will both preserve the olives and give them a delicious pickled taste. A finished brine olive will last a year in your refrigerator.

You can either make a brine or a marinade for your olives. The flavoring from the herbs and spices depends on the country of origin and variety of olives you bought. The general marinade rule is 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar (white or red wine vinegar) a few garlic cloves and herbs, which can vary, depending on the olives (I said that already, I know.) If you’re just planning on extending the life of the olives, I wouldn’t add the herbs until a few days before serving, then only if you want to.

Herbs that work well for seasoning:

Herbs de Provence (French green)
Bay leaf
Cardamom seed
Cracked black peppercorns
Crushed red pepper
Cumin seed
Fennel seed
Lavender buds
Lemon, lime or orange zest or peel
Oregano, dried
Smoked Paprika
Rosemary, fresh sprigs
Sun-dried tomatoes
Thyme, fresh or dried

Here is my final jar that has been in the fridge from last year!