Green Olives, Lye-treated

Source: The Olive Oil Source
November 01, 2005

A. Don't use an aluminum pot or it will leach out the zinc

  • Soak 12 hours in lye solution: 4 tablespoons lye in 1 gallon cold water. (Solution should not be over 64 to 70 F before adding olives.) Stir occasionally.
  • Drain, and soak 12 more hours in fresh lye solution.
  • Cut into a large olive; lye will change the flesh to a yellow-green, penetrating to the pit.
  • If the lye has not penetrated to the pit, soak an additional 12 hours in a fresh lye solution.


B. Rinse

  • Rinse in cold water
  • Soak 6 hours in fresh, cold water.
  • Change the water and soak 6 hours in fresh cold water, repeating four times a day for 4-8 days, until there is no lye taste


C. Preservation
    To keep up to 2 weeks:
  • Brine cure l.
  • Cover with salt brine; 6 tablespoons salt per gallon of water. Let stand 2 days.
  • Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
    To keep longer than 2 weeks:
    Brine cure ll.
    Step 1. Cover with salt brine; 13 tablespoons salt per gallon of water. Store 1 week.
    Step 2. Cover with fresh salt brine; 1 pound or 1 2/3 cups salt per gallon of water. Store in a cool place, preferably a refrigerator. Use within 2-4 months. Before eating, soak olives overnight to remove excess salt. Use with 3 days after soaking.


Pickling. Prepare a vinegar-water solution
  • equal parts vinegar and water. Add salt to the vinegar-water solution: ½ to 1-cup salt per gallon (do not omit salt as it prevents bacterial growth.)
  • Add garlic and spices if desired.
  • Cover tightly and store at room temperature.
  • Good for 4-5 months at room temperature or 10-12 months in the refrigerator.