Italian Homemade Green Olives

by Joanne on November 1, 2009

I never in a million years even thought about making my own olives.  In fact, never wondered how they made it into the jars. 


On page 12 of A Taste of Utica Cookbook is the recipe for how to make your own Green Olives.  Plan on taking a month and a half or more to prepare your olives.  This is how I got started….

I had no idea where to look locally for tree fresh olives, so I went online to Great  I bought 1 box of Jumbo Green Sevillano olives.  That was a LOT of olives. 

This first photo was taken after 1 day of curing.

DSC_1099 Here is the recipe offered in our book

DSC_0355 page 12 by Chris.

  • 1 Large Canning Kettle
  • 1 box of olives (18 – 20 lbs)..(my box was about 11 lbs)
  • Mallet
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Pickling Jars


Crack or split olives with a mallet.  Cover with water and 1 cup of salt  and let soak for 10 days.  Change the water daily and add 1 cup of salt every time you change the water.  You will see the olives change color over time.

This photo was taken after 5 days of curing.


After 10 days, drain and rinse the olives.  Clean the kettle.  Place olives back into the kettle and sprinkle with salt, chopped garlic, oregano and mix well. 

Sanitize your pickling jars and lids.  Fill jars with olives. Add water to fill the jars. Add 1 tsp. of salt to each jar.  Seal the jars and let stand 1 month before using. 

These are my jars with the olives, sliced pickling onions and garlic cloves.


The longer they are allowed to sit, the better they will taste.


Drain the water from the jar and rinse the olives.

See how the color has changed to …what else..Olive Green?


Fill again with water and drain.  Place in a deep dish.  Add oil and vinegar and salt if needed to taste.   I added chunks of sharp Provolone cheese to some of my jars one week before eating. 

Now enjoy your labors.


 Since there are so many jars of olives, I made Green Olive Tapenade:  Tapenade comes from the word “tapeno” meaning caper.   I included sun dried tomatoes and we use it on bread or crackers.  It’s super to add on pizza or spread on other main dishes. 


  • 1 cup Homemade Green olives (slice and pit).
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS capers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil

In a food processor, add the olives, garlic, capers, lemon zest , sun dried tomatoes and seasoning. Process to a chunky paste.  Remove to a serving bowl and add pepper and lemon juice.  Add more oil if wanted (about 1 to 2 TBS).

We have so many jars of olives.  We will be able to see how much the flavor improves over time. 

A neat idea around Christmas time would be to offer food gift baskets.  Guess what MINE will contain???? 

UPDATE:   See my comment in the list of comments regarding CURING BLACK OLIVES.


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  • At 2009.11.01 19:57, pegasuslegend said:

    Wow this is extremely impressive… would never thought about doing this….you made it look so easy…..thanks for sending in on and posting…really enjoyed this post…I am off to check out the link you sent to where to buy them…. thanks again

    Claudia (pegasuslegend)

    • At 2009.11.01 20:05, Joanne said:

      Claudia: Thanks. I think they ran out of stock this year. But Great Olives has some fantastic dry cured olives. I’m not a huge olive lover but those were Fantastic!

      • At 2009.11.01 23:16, Cookin' Canuck said:

        These olives look fabulous! I love the idea of curing my own olives.

        • At 2009.11.01 23:35, Lu said:

          That is a wonderful idea. I would love to try this. I’d also like to try and make cured lemons.

          • At 2009.11.02 09:37, Chris said:

            I’ve always wondered what a “fresh” olive taste like.

            • At 2009.11.02 13:55, Liz said:

              I love green olives! I never even thought about making them myself or how they were made lol I’ll have to avoid this recipe though because olives are like potato chips for me – I can’t seem to have just one.

              • At 2009.11.02 19:46, lululu said:

                oh, i’ve never thot about making my own olives neither.
                i bet it must taste way more flavorful this way!

                • At 2009.11.03 07:49, Sue said:

                  What a fantastic idea. They look delicious and I don’t like olives but you made it look so easy. How do you find the time?

                  • At 2009.11.03 08:08, Joanne said:

                    Sue: I’m not a huge olive fan either. Ted loves them. I do enjoy olive tapanade so the motivation to cure my own olives was plenty of tapenade to make. As for time, they are not really time consuming. Over the course of a month or more, you spend about 5 – 10 minutes changing water and salt. then jar them, and prepare when ready to use. Really easy.

                    • At 2009.11.03 11:04, Lynne said:

                      What a great and informative post! I never knew you could cure olives at home or buy them online. Yours look great and Ilove the tapenade recipe.

                      • At 2009.12.18 18:46, Two Tapenades | Apple Crumbles said:

                        […] Artichoke and Green Olive Tapenade (The green olives are from our own batch of marinated olives. See this post: Italian Homemade Green Olives.) […]

                        • At 2009.12.20 23:43, Leo Silvestri said:

                          Great post for all olives lovers.
                          Thanks to pages like these on the internet
                          I’ve also learned different curing methods and have
                          now created a part time home made olive business.

                          Leo Silvestri

                          • […] decided to go with Apple Crumbles. Her recipe was the most clear to me and I liked that she had pictures most steps of the way. Since […]

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