How to Cure Fresh Olives: Mediterranean Style!

My husband LOVES olives, and although I have never attempted to cure my own olives at home, I decided to give it a try. Olives have many health benefits, including a high iron and fiber content. Right off the tree, olives taste pretty bitter. The curing process turns them into more eatable olives that you can use in countless recipes. Most of the olives in the US come from California, so you might see them around various farmers’ markets if you live here. I got these wonderful fresh olives from Penna Gourmet Foods and started the curing process today. It will take several days and some patience until they are ready to eat, but I am excited to see the results! Check out their website for olives (usually available mid-Sept depending on the weather) and curing instructions because they offer a few different ways to do it.

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How to Cure Fresh Olives: Mediterranean Style!
Prep time
  • 2.5 lbs fresh green olives
  • ¾ cup 5% distilled or wine vinegar
  • 3¼ cup water for brine solution, plus more for daily changing
  • 5 tbsp salt
  • Spices
  1. Wash olives.
  2. Crack each olive open with a hammer and place in an airtight container.
  3. Fill container up with water, making sure all olives are submerged.
  4. Change water daily for 10 days.
  5. On day 11, prepare your brine solution by mixing vinegar, water and salt together.
  6. Add brine solution to drained olives, and add your favorite spices as desired. Remember, spices take up to 3 days to absorb so start slow!


This sponsorship is brought to you by Penna Gourmet Foods who we have partnered with for this promotion.


  1. paul says:

    I´ve tried many different recipes and I think the one you are doing has turned out the best. If you don´t do the ten day soak and rinse like you mentioned they are always bitter. I just wish the crushing process didn´t take so long. I´ve had neighbors complain about all the pounding.

    You might try the recipe from the NY Times called Mustapha´s Olives. They turned out quite good and didn´t I don´t think I had to crush them. Penas Olives had a link to the recipe some where on their site.

    • mysanfranciscokitchen says:

      Hi Paul! Thanks for your comment. I know what you mean, the crushing takes a really long time, and can get loud for the neighbors. I was hoping they were at work haha! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  2. Diane says:

    Just wondering how the olives turned out?
    I have two trees loaded with olives and I don’t want to waste them this year.
    Great site.
    Thank you:- )

    • Kristianne says:

      Hi Diane! They turned out really nice, but I would suggest using a knife to slit them open instead of the hammer since the hammer caused a lot of bruising in the end when I did it. Also, I am not a pro on what spices to add in the end, so I will have to experiment more with that… Let me know how yours turn out if you try!

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