Olives preserved in brine

If you have a source of fresh, raw olives, you may know that they are completely inedible straight off the tree. Who first realised that olives could be delicious? The story goes that some olives fell into a rock pool on the shores of the Mediterranean a couple of thousand years ago. The salty rock pool was replenished by the tide twice a day, and a month or so later, when the bitter juices had been leached out by osmosis, an adventurous (and hungry) soul was passing. She scooped out the bobbing olives, and popped them into her mouth. Delicious. And the next thing I need to find out is who was the learned soul who first realised that olives and brine are delicious in a martini.


  • Raw olives – 500g/ 1lb
  • Salt


Put the olives in a plastic bag and gently crack them open with a rolling pin. Then put them in a container with some fresh water. Change the water twice a day for four days, then transfer them to some super salty water for a month. The water needs to be salty enough to float an egg. At the end of the month, rinse clear and enjoy the fruits of your labours.

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