I've always wanted to cure my own olives, but it's not every day that I spot fresh olives at the store. So I was thrilled to discover one sunny Saturday that the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was selling bags of small, black Coratinas for $5, along with a recipe for curing olives. To make bitter and astringent fresh olives edible, there are two ways of preparing them: dry-curing them in salt, or wet-curing them in brine. I went with the dry-curing method, and I wasn't let down. Although I'd opt for an olive with a greater meat-to-pit ratio next time, the recipe produced an intricate flavor that was sweet, salty, and buttery at the same time. Now that I know how easy it is to make my own, I'm hesitant to ever buy a can of olives from the supermarket again! See for yourself when you keep reading.
1 pound ripe olives (I used Coratinas) Makes 1 pint jar of olives.
4-6 cups kosher salt, depending on ripeness of olives
8 cloves garlic, peeled
2 fresh bay leaves
4 dried chile peppers
About 1-1/2 cups high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ripe olives (I used Coratinas)
Makes 1 pint jar of olives.