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How to Pit Olives

Simple Tip: Smash Olives to Remove the Pit

Last Sunday I was making dinner with my friend Sonia. While she deveined shrimp, I prepared the salad. "What are you doing?" she asked as I repeatedly slammed my hand on top of a knife. I was pitting olives and surprised to learn that she had never seen anyone pit olives before. As I was teaching her my technique, I realized I should share it with you, too!

To pit olives, for making salad or tapenade, place the olive on a cutting board. Set a wide kitchen knife on top of the olive. With the palm of your hand, hit the knife hard — like you would do when peeling garlic. The pressure flattens the olive and the pit pops out easily. This method also works for cherries, but be careful, cherries produce a lot of juicy splatters. How do you pit olives?


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noraeliza noraeliza 7 years
I am thrilled to find this site! I just bookmarked . EW
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 7 years
I pit mine with a purchase of "pitted" olives...........
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 7 years
i wish you had posted this sooner! i made cherry garcia ice cream and ended up buying a cherry pitter (which also is an olive pitter) but this could have saved me $13.
caramelqtee75 caramelqtee75 7 years
Thank you, I almost threw away a whole thing of olives cause they had a pit in them. I could barely eat them.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Oh THANK YOU so much! I have made your recipe for artichoke pasta a few times in the past, and it always took me forever to pit the kalamata olives. most of it would end up under my fingernails or still sticking to the pit. And I feel kind of embarassed now for not coming up with this myself =P
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