UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

Olive Curing Workshops

Oh, I love this time of year.  The harvest is on for prunes, almonds, walnuts and soon, olives for processing into both table olives and olive oil.  While making olive oil at home is possible, it isn't easy.  But it is easy to cure your own olives at home using one of several great methods.  You may cure them using the traditional lye cured method. They can be salt cured using black ripe olives, which creates a dry olive that is wonderful when rinsed and coated with good olive oil and chopped rosemary.  You can water cure them or finally you can ferment them like one would ferment cucumbers for dill pickles.  What is really great about olives though is that once they are cured, the real art comes down to the seasonings you apply to them.  The cured olive is only a carrier for the seasonings and stuffing that add the final embellishment.  For example, you could lye cure a green olive.  Once cured, then you can stuff them with pimento, blanched almonds, feta

cheese, anchovies or garlic and then store in packing salt brine solution.  You can add different seasonings such as chopped oregano, crushed garlic, chopped dry red chilies and preserved lemon slices or fennel seeds.  The options are endless but you do want to be sure that you process your olives in a way that is safe both in terms of handling lye and from a food safety perspective.  You can learn these techniques at one of several olive workshops coming up.  The first is being held at the Mondavi Center for Food and Wine at UC Davis Campus on September 24th.  Cost is $45.00 and you can register by clicking on:  http://ccuh.ucdavis.edu/events/your-sustainable-backyard-olives

The second workshop is being held near Chico at th e historic Mills Orchard Ranch on October 1st.  Cost is $20 and you can register at:  http://ucanr.org/Olive2011

Both are being taught by UC Cooperative Extension Advisor Bill Krueger, Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator Pam Geisel and UC Master Food Preservers and a few others.  The UC Davis class will also include an olive oil tasting. 

For recipes on how to process olives safely go to our free publication at:  http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/Olives/8267.aspx


Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM


Do you think that any of the people who teach the olive curing workshops who be interested in coming to southern California? It seems as if there would be a good audience here for that.  
Or, is there anyone at UC Riverside who could also do a similar workshop?  
I was thinking about suggesting it for a workshop at the Natural History Museum.  

Posted by Florence Nishida on September 14, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Pam and Florence: I would love such a workshop and would be glad to help with any organizational needs.  

Posted by Carol Kurtz on September 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM

YOU DID AN OLIVE CURING WORKSHOP WITH YOUR KITCHEN GUTTED?????? Is there no limit to your courage???? Did you get a good turnout? Robbie

Posted by Robbie L Cranch on October 6, 2011 at 11:33 AM

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