This is a brilliant time to spend some hours at home making all of the yummy things we can think about!

We recently came across a very old and traditional way of making pickled olives at home. Since we love them and since we know very well Signora Rosa who gave us the recipe, we decided to give it a try.

It is not difficult at all, but it can take a bit of time, so arm yourself with some patience!

You will also need water, vinegar, herbs, spices and good jars (Italian “Quattro stagioni” ones or wide neck little demijohns are her favourite!).

A lot of people just use a salt and water brine, but this method with vinegar makes a nice savoury treat too!

PROCEDURE:
  • Get some raw green olives that have some signs of ripening, wash them properly and rinse them. Crack them with a fruit/veggie press to make sure that the water gets in and removes bitterness.
  • Cover them with water and white vinegar (ratio is 2 cups of white vinegar in 2 L of water, work with your quantities accordingly!).
  • Olives should stay in there from 3 to 7 days (depending on the size), with the mixture being changed every 24 hours. Make sure they stay under the water level using some retaining discs with some weights.
  • The olives will start losing the bright colour and turn into the colour we all know: try one and when they are not bitter anymore, it is time to brine!
  • Drain them and wash the jars.
  • Make a brine using 10g of salt every 100ml of water and add white vinegar with the same ratio as the initial stage (or a bit less if you don’t want the vinegar flavour to be as strong). Mix well.
  • Put the olives back in the jars and add the brine mix. It is time to add some spices and herbs and seasoning as per personal taste (Rosa does different jars depending on the relative/friend who is going to eat the olives!). You can add lemon or lime, garlic, thyme, pepper, chili, bay leaves.
  • Cover the olives with some oil to protect them from air and oxidization and close the jar properly. They should be ready in 4 to 10 weeks to taste.
  • Some people don’t like the vinegar flavour too much: for them, open the olives when they are almost ready and after washing them and replace with a brine made of water and salt and put them back in a jar until ready.
  • Keep olives in a dry, cool place.

You can enjoy them in any possible way! On cured meats and cheese platters, chopped them in your dishes or as a sneaky snack out of the jar!