- Ripe black olives (at least 1 quart)
- 2 1/4 cups pickling salt
- 2 gallons water
Use at least a quart-sized air tight container made of plastic or glass, or a Harsch fermenting crock. Choose olives that are fully colored from dark red to black. It is helpful to select olives of a similar size for a more even curing. Discard olives that are bruised or scarred.
Mix 3/4 cups of pickling salt with a gallon of cool water to make a brine. Stir the brine and make sure the salt dissolves fully. Add the olives and the brine to your air-tight container. Make sure the brine covers the olives, and prepare more brine if needed. If using a Harsch crock, don’t seal it by adding water to the reservoir yet. Store the crock for a week, out of the way, at a temperature between 60-80°F.
After a week mix up a stronger brine solution. For this solution combine 1 1/2 cups of pickling salt and a gallon of water. Drain off the first weaker brine and add the strong brine. With a Harsch crock, this time seal the crock by adding water to the reservoir. This will prevent the growth of yeast on your olives while still allowing gas from inside the crock to bubble out. Store the crock again out of the way at 60-80°F.
Your olives will be ready to eat after two months if you like them on the bitter side. If you like a milder flavor pour off the brine one more time a month later, add another strong brine. Wait two more months and then enjoy your home cured olives!