I have ripe olives on my trees, what next?

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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I have 2 olive trees and for the first time (only my first year with 2 olive trees :whistling: ) I have ripe and ripening olives.

I know from my time in Greece 10 years ago that you don't eat olives ripe off the trees. Something needs doing to them first, I think. But what?

I only have a few, hardly worth while getting excited about, but there's enough for a medium sized jar to be filled if all stages of green to purple were to be picked, though some of the green ones are not yet 'plump' so not worth picking yet.

So, my question for those with olive trees or based in the Mediterranean, what is it that I need to do please?
 

MypinchofItaly

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Fry them. I mean, heat some olive oil with aromatic herbs (garlic too) a chilli pepper (or more than one, as you prefer) and some fennel seeds if you have or if you like them, then add the olives and let them sautéing for few mins
 
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I'm no expert, but I remember googling this last year when my baby olive tree had what looked like tiny olives after it had flowered (I got a bit ahead of myself though....nothing ever came of them LOL).

If I remember correctly, they need to be processed pretty quickly after harvesting - either pressed for their oil, or brined for storage.
 

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If I remember correctly, they need to be processed pretty quickly after harvesting - either pressed for their oil, or brined for storage.
They are by the back door, so speed isn't an issue.

I know the ones we tasted directly off the tree in Greece despite being ripe didn't taste well, they tasted awful actually. We didn't try a second time, so I wasn't sure if something actually needed to be done to them to make them edible first.
 
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They are by the back door, so speed isn't an issue.

I know the ones we tasted directly off the tree in Greece despite being ripe didn't taste well, they tasted awful actually. We didn't try a second time, so I wasn't sure if something actually needed to be done to them to make them edible first.
Did they taste very bitter? I think that's what the brining is for - to reduce the bitterness. The "quickly" was more like within a day or so, rather than minutes or hours....so I don't think you need to worry too much about it :wink:

I thought I'd managed to kill our baby olive tree over the winter, but the other day I noticed a couple of new green shoots so perhaps its survived after all. I very much doubt we'll be seeing any fruit off it any time soon though!
 

CookieMonster

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olives are brined / cured - multiple home methods.
search suggestion: "how to prepare fresh olives"
"fresh" i.e. right off the tree they are not particularly palatable. . . .
 

Morning Glory

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I have a small olive tree in a pot which did produce some olives last year. I've not tried to cure them but here is a really clear explanation of the various ways to cure the olives:

Water Curing "Smashed" or "Cracked" Olives​

This procedure is recommended for large green olives.

  • Wash the olives. With a stone or mallet, crack the meat of the olive, taking care not to bruise the pit.
  • Put the olives in a pan and cover with cold water for 6 to 8 days, changing the water twice a day, morning and evening, until the bitterness is gone (taste to test).
  • When ready, fill the pan with brine (about 1 part sea salt to 10 parts water) and lemon juice (about 1 part lemon juice to 10 parts water), transfer to jars if desired, and refrigerate for several hours before eating.

Brine Curing​

Use this method for black olives. To test the water-to-salt ratio, place a raw egg in the mixture; it is perfect when the egg floats. For cracked olives, when they're ready to eat, transfer to a brine that's less salty to keep for long periods.

  • Wash the olives. With a sharp knife, make a cut in the meat of the olive (top to bottom) without cutting the pit.
  • In a pan, soak the olives in brine (1 part sea salt to 10 parts water). Make sure the olives are submerged (use something to weight them down) and cover.
  • Cure the olives for 3 weeks, shaking the pan each day and changing the brineeach week, then taste for bitterness. This process could take 5 to 6 weeks depending on the olives.
  • When they taste the way you want, place in jars with brine (1 part sea salt to 10 parts water), add 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and top with a layer of olive oil.

Dry (Salt) Curing Outside​

This is the best method to use for large black olives.

  • Outdoors, layer olives with coarse sea salt (about 1 pound of salt for every 2 pounds of olives) in a basket, burlap bag, or wooden box lined with burlap that allows air to circulate.
  • Leave the olives outside with plastic underneath to catch the juices that drain for 3 to 4 weeks, shaking daily, and adding a little more salt every 2 to 3 days.
  • Taste for bitterness, rinsing the olive first. When no longer bitter, you can either shake off excess salt and keep them that way or shake off the excess salt and dip them quickly in boiling water to get rid of the salt.
  • They can be marinated for a few days in olive oil to regain plumpness (this type of curing will shrivel them), or just coated well with olive oil, using your hands, before eating.

Dry (Salt) Curing in Jars​

Small black olives are recommended for this method.

In glass jars, alternate layers of olives with coarse salt. Every day for 3 weeks, shake well and add more salt to absorb the juices.

Test for bitterness (rinsing the olive first). Continue to cure if bitterness remains; otherwise, add warm water to cover and 4 tablespoons of good-quality red-wine vinegar and top with a layer of olive oil. They will be ready to eat after 4 to 5 days.

Oil Curing​

Cover any type of olive in olive oil and leave them alone for several months. Test for taste.
5 Ways to Cure Your Own Greek Olives
 
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