Dry Salt-Cured Olives

dry salt cured olives

Tony Robins / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Brining Time: 504 hrs
Total: 504 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 32 servings
Yield: 1 quart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
36 Calories
3g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 32
Amount per serving
Calories 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5702mg 248%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is one of the simplest ways to cure olives. The result is identical to the full-flavored, slightly wrinkled "oil-cured" black olives that you can buy in specialty stores. Unlike water-cured olives, these are usually served without the embellishment of herbs or other seasonings.

There are two major methods for brining the olives: using a glass jar or crock, or a muslin bag. We have provided both methods below. Regardless, the method takes at least three weeks.

These olives make the perfect snack to munch on, or put them on salads, in pasta, or on pizza.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Choose fully ripe, small olives for dry salt-curing. Remove and discard any stems that are still attached. Rinse olives clean with water and drain well in a colander.

  3. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, prick 1 or 2 small holes in each olive.

Glass Jar or Crock Method

  1. Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of salt over the bottom of a large glass jar or ceramic crock. Add a layer of olives on top of the salt. The layer should be 2 olives or less deep.

  2. Cover layer of olives with more salt. Add another layer of olives. Repeat until all the olives are completely covered in salt.

  3. Leave at room temperature, stirring olives or shaking the jar once a day and adding more salt if necessary to keep olives covered. The olives will start to exude their bitter juices, and salt will turn into a moist paste. If it becomes totally liquid, drain olives and return to the container with fresh layers of salt. Allow to set for three weeks.

Muslin Bag Method

  1. Alternatively, combine the olives and salt in a muslin bag (a clean pillowcase will work if you don't use fabric softener or other perfumed laundry products).

  2. Hang the bag over a bucket or bowl so that any liquid that leaches out of the olives during the curing process doesn't make a mess.

After three weeks of either method:

  1. Rinse salt off of an olive and taste it. If it is still too bitter, continue to cure the olives, adding salt to absorb juices, and testing the flavor about once a week. When ready, olives cured by the dry salt method will be shriveled up and have a mildly bitter, but pleasant flavor.

  2. Once olives have reached that stage, brush off or very quickly rinse off salt. If you rinse, spread olives out in a single layer and let them dry off completely before proceeding. This can take several hours, so leave them overnight if you like.

  3. Toss cured olives with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil prior to serving.

How to Store

  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month, in the refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year.

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