Curing Olives at Home

I have been looking for an EASY recipe for curing olives at home for years. I have over 5 giant olive trees in our garden and they produce an abundance of olives – thousands of olives. Every year they just end up on the floor, and every year I look for a recipe to salvage these olives and cure them at home. I had the hardest time finding a good recipe.


I even asked my neighbor who has a huge olive grove for an easy olive curing recipe. Even my neighbor couldn’t come up with a good option except for the recipe that require using lye (dangerous and not worth the effort). When we were talking about olives, he shared this very interesting way his grandfather used to cure olives back in Italy. He said they would place fresh olives in big sacks and tie them to the branches of trees that hung over their local streams. The sacks were submerged in water, and over time with the ripples of the flowing stream, the olives got the bitterness naturally removed. After a couple of weeks they were ready to be pickled. What a cool story!


My neighbor also shared another process for curing olives that involved placing olives with sea salt in-between giant sheets of cheese cloths. He said he left them in his basement for a few weeks and the olives just released their bitter gunk onto the dirt floor, and what was left were salt- brined olives. But he did point out that it was a messy process as the gunk from the olives makes a giant gross mess on the floor. I opted not to try this way of curing my olives 😝.

Finally a couple months ago I received a blog post from a reader of mine who has her own blog called sba’  She posted a story about buckets of olives that she had received from her friends and how she was planning to cure them herself. That got me intrigued. I wondered how was she going to cure so many olives? I reached out to her and asked her what her recipe for home cured olives was – and she had one! Julie posted a recipe for curing olives at home with detailed instructions Home Cured Olives on sba’  I even got clarification on a few instructions and got very helpful hints back. Julie even suggested I host an olive-picking party. She suggested I invite a few friends to pick the olives and gave me ideas on how to pick the olives too. One of her suggestions was to lay large sheets or tarp at the base and around the olive trees and use sticks to shake the olives off the tree.


This olive curing recipe from sba’ is amazing! Very easy to follow and requires just three ingredients – fresh olives, water and sea salt!  This is my kind of recipe. Simple to follow, with ingredients that are easy to find.


I am so excited to report that for the first time in my life I cured olives!! These olives taste outstanding and are as delicious as any olive marinade I have had from any gourmet deli. My family couldn’t believe how good my olives tasted!



Here are a few pictures of my olive-curing process

Wash the olives


Soak in brine. Rinse and repeat for 8-12 days


Get ready to make marinade with herbs and spices





Bottling and storage





Ready to eat!



If you have olive trees like I do that bear thousands of fruit, try curing olives at home. For an easy and simple olive curing recipe take a look at this outstanding recipe from sba’s kitchen Home Cured Olives on


A very special thank you to Julie from sba’ for accepting my request to post an olive curing recipe! I’ll be making lots more jars of olive marinade with next year’s harvest – maybe I’ll take Julie’s suggestion and even host an olive-picking party 😀.

Happy olive curing at home!


13 thoughts on “Curing Olives at Home”

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience of using the recipe on my post about curing olives, and for your very kind words, I feel very humbled. I am so happy that you enjoyed the process and that your family is now reaping the rewards of your hard work.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, it is very clear to me that your family, friends and beautiful food is as important to you as is for me

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your clear and very precise instrcutions on how to cure olives at home, I followed them exactly and I was amazed at how delecious the olives turned out!

      You too have a wonderful blog! I love all your preserving recipes! Though there is little need for me to preserve much as living in California we are surrounded by farms and have an abundance of fresh produce all year round. But I have started to enjoy prerserving the extra produce that we always have rather than let thme go to waste. Your blog has so many recipes for preserving and canning that I will be doing more of that this year.

      Thank you for stopping by and for all your kind words 😗😘

  2. Kalpana, it appears you have undertaken a very large project! I hope everyone in the Sheth household loves olives.😀

  3. Some of my better olives came from Live Oak Manor Park, off of Carlton Avenue. I think they were ‘Manzanillo’ olives for oil, but were descent eating olives too.

      1. I do not think there is a recipe for oil. It just gets pressed out of the fruit. Many of the Manzinillo olives, which I knew simply as Spanish olives, were grown more for oil production than for curing. I just cured them because they were what I was able to get. When I was a kid, there were a few Greek olive trees that might have been Kalamata olives, where El Paseo de Saratoga is. They made big fat olives for curing, and a mess on Quito Road. Some of the trees are still there next door, and must make a big mess on the driveways of the homes that are there now.

  4. I’ve cured black olives with only salt — in a ratio of 1 part salt to 2 parts olives — in an old, clean, pillowcase. Yes, there is some drainage but, since I do it outside, the “gunk” is not a problem. Suspend the pillowcase over a container — I use a plastic basin — and turn or shake the bag every few days to be sure all the olives get salted. My method takes longer, about 3 months, but uses much less salt. Once the olives are cured to you taste, rinse well with water and seal them in jars with either brine or (my preference) olive oil, and your chosen spices — garlic cloves are nice, rosemary leaves even nicer.

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