Papou’s Black Olives


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“This recipe was shown to me by Papou (my grandfather, Vasilli). He was still picking and curing his own olives until he died at the age of 96,” says UC Master Gardener Marie Antoniou.

Pick olives that are black and still firm. Do not use olives that have fallen to the ground. Place the black olives in an old pillow case or burlap bag.

Use 1/4 pound of rock salt to one pound of olives. Place in the bag with the olives and shake it up. Hang the bag in a cool place like the garage or patio. Place a bucket under to catch the drips.

After 1 week, check the mixture to see if any salt is needed. Shake well. Repeat this weekly and be sure to shake the mixture. Curing should be completed in 30-45 days. Taste occasionally.

To serve, dip olives momentarily in boiling water. Can be soaked overnight to remove excess salt to taste. Coat olives with olive oil and serve.

Word of Caution: if, at any time, the olives become soft or bad smelling, do not eat or taste them. Mold or scum may form on the brine. Skim it off as soon as it appears. If the mold growth is heavy, destroy the olives. If you have any questions, please e-mail Marie at marie_antoniou@yahoo.com.