How to Make Olives

I feel like I should preface this post with a disclaimer that before I lived abroad I hated olives. Growing up, with only the choice of black or green olives, I chose none! Luckily I discovered there is more variety and that they don’t always come from a can. I discovered that I liked them enough to try and make them. I should also say a huge thank-you to my loving father-in-law who helped me thorough the whole process. If it wasn’t for his vision, we wouldn’t be eating these lovely fruits right now!  We made the olives in his kitchen, with the help of his wine! Cheers to more “teach the guiri” projects. (Guiri is foreigner in Spanish)

1. Buy Olives. This can be done at your local market in Andalucia.

2. Request the olive seller to press the olives.

The olives need to be crushed in order for them to soak in the flavour. If you cannot crush the olives you will need to put small slices in each olive by hand with a sharp knife.

suegro making olives3. For ten days store the olives in brine, replacing the brine each day.

The amount of time you do this depends on your taste. If you like more sharp olive flavour then ten days is sufficient. If you prefer softer tasting olives then you can continue until you find the flavour you like.

spices and wine4. Prepare the spices you wish to use. We used bay leaves, fresh garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano and hinjo (I am not sure of the English name for this spice). We also added raw green pepper slices!

Next time I think I would do a cumin and/or lemon spice combo like Moroccan olives. Yum.


olive spices5. In a smaller container add your seasonings, olives and new brine. Wait one week.

You don’t want to season all your olives at one time as they don’t keep as well as just in brine. Also, this is conductive to discovering new seasoning variations! 

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