Today I decided to take a few minutes from my day and harvest my small olive tree ( you can see how small the tree is here). I wasn’t planning on doing anything with the olives , I mainly wanted to relive the tree of its fruits so it would grow during the winter. However I felt bad just throwing the olives away so I thought I would treat them so they become edible in a few months. I have done this many times while in Greece where I own my own olive trees, though we mostly gather the olives to produce olive oil. In fact the olive oil I do have at home right now comes from my own olive trees!
I felt bad for just throwing the only olives my little indoors tree produced for the first time, so I decided to treat them. If you have indoors olive trees and you want to treat them, do read on for a full tutorial. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes so you should really try it!
Step 1 | Pick the olives from the branches with your hands, this should take only a few minutes if you have a small tree. If you have a bigger one then you can gather them faster with a very wide plastic hair comb.
Step 2 | Make a small incision in each olive with a sharp knife.
Step 3 | Use a clean clear bottle ( a plastic one is recommended ) and drop all the olives inside. Add a little bit of salt but only a pinch.
Step 4 | Seal the bottle and let it rest in a cool place where the sun does not hit for a couple of months. It is important that the bottle lays flat and the water covers its neck completely so no air comes in at all.
Step 5 | Once the olives are cured (read below for tips on timing) make a brine with fresh water, some salt and vinegar. Taste the brine and make it to your liking. Some prefer it saltier, some prefer it more sour. Add more salt or vinegar to taste. Fill a container with the brine and mix in the olives. Keep in a cool place.
Depending on how big the olives are the process might take more or less than 3 months. The incision speeds up the process especially when the olives are bigger but it is not necessary. Since I already cut my olives (and due to their original size) I expect they will be ready around Christmas.
To test if the olives need more time to mature just open the bottle and try one. If it is still too bitter to eat then empty the water from the bottle, fill it with new one, seal it and lay flat as before for a few more weeks.
That is all it takes to cure your own olives. I am really looking forward to how mine will taste like, although they are so small there will be more stone than olive! Hopefully next year or the year after that (olive trees produce fruits every 2 years as a rule) my indoor olive tree will be big enough to give significantly more olives in a bigger size as well. For now I will let you know how this experiment turned out around Christmas!