I came across some olive trees earlier this week while walking my dog and picked a few handfuls of green olives. I've been reading up on all the different curing options -- brine, water, lye -- and settled on sort of a quickie method that combines water and brine curing. I'm hoping to get a bunch more olives before the season is over and want to experiment with longer, fermentation-type methods, but I have so few olives right now, it didn't seem worth it. Who wants to wait 4 months to eat 2 cups of olives? This is the recipe I used:
2 cups fresh picked green olives
a ton of boiling water
2 cups lukewarm water
2 T kosher salt
2/3 cup vinegar (white or cider)
other seasonings (I used a few garlic cloves, a jalapeno pepper and a few strips of Meyer lemon peel)
Rinse the olives and cut a small slit in each, to make it easier for the water and brine to soak through (some recipes recommend smashing them with a hammer instead). Put them in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover. Let them sit 24 hours.
On the second day, strain the olives, put them back in the bowl, and pour in fresh boiling water. Let them sit 24 hours.
On the third day, strain the olives, put them back in the bowl, and pour in even more fresh boiling water. Leave them alone for another 24 hours.
On the fourth day, mix the 2 cups lukewarm water, 2 T kosher salt and 2/3 cup vinegar and stir until the salt is dissolved. Strain the olives and add them to the brine, along with any other flavorings you want to use. You can top with a layer of olive oil if you want (I didn't 'cause I am currently out, but I may add it later). After about a week in the brine, the olives should be ready to eat and you can transfer them to the fridge.
I only transferred mine to the brine today, so I can't vouch for the final product, but I can say that the boiling water has leeched out most of that fresh olive taste that makes them inedible.
Does anyone else have any experience/tips/tricks/recipes?