My Husband and I were photographing in Corning California at Lucero Olive Oil’s orchards this fall. Bob Crane, the owner makes these incredible brined olives and he shared some with me. When I asked if I could pick and take some olives home to try myself neither one of us knew he would have to ship them to me twice. Who knew that when you soak the olives in lye you can’t use a metal pot.
Photography by Angie Norwood Browne
3 gallons of fresh green olives
8 oz. lye ( can be found at the hardware store near drain cleaners)
3/4 c. salt
One 3 gallon Crock filled with water
For each jar:
2 cloves garlic
2 dried chiles
1/4 t. basil
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. caynne
1/4 c. plus 2 T. salt and 2 quarts water
Add lye and salt to water and stir to dissolve. Be careful not to get any on skin as it can burn. Add the olives. Keep olives under water by placing a small towel on top of them in the water. Leave for 48 hours. The water should turn very dark, almost black. Pour off lye solution. Cover with fresh water 3 times a day for 4 days or until water is clear and the soapy taste is gone. Drain, and discard bruised and soft olives. Pack each jar with spices and pack olives in. Then fill each jar with brine. Keep the olives in refrigerator. They are good after 5 days but get better with time. They will keep for 3 months.
Recipe Bob Crane