Tel. 973 15 60 13 | Oli d'oliva Verge Extra L'Espluga Calba
Cooperativa de L'Espluga Calba: PREPARING OLIVES AT HOME


Arbequina olives are the raw material used to make our Spelunca extra virgin olive oil, a basic food in the Mediterranean diet, ideal for looking after our health due to its concentration of oleic acid.

There are more than 200 varieties of olives: manzanilla, gordal, hojiblanca, picual, arbequina, etc. All of them can be used for home preparation, depending on the availability of the area or the season. From September onwards, green olives can be harvested to be prepared in brine; the black varieties need more time to ripen before they can be harvested.

Snacking on olives as an aperitif is a good habit as they help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Olives are a healthy way of enriching all kinds of dishes, from salads to pizzas, and as well as being available in the shops, they are easy to prepare at home.

The green varieties, such as our small arbequina olives, are very tasty, rich in fibre and are a good food for diabetics because they do not contain sugars. The oleuropein that gives them their bitter taste stimulates the appetite and helps the pancreas in its function of producing insulin.

Here we explain several recipes to prepare them without abrasive products or any kind of chemicals, just water, salt and some aromatic herbs.



Just picked, fresh and free of impurities, we wash the olives and place them in glass jars, covering them with water. Every day we turn the jars upside down, drain them and fill them again with fresh water. After 2 weeks, add the salt, about 15 grams per litre of water, and the aromatic herbs: thyme, savory, fennel, etc. to taste. Leave the jars in a dark, cool place and after about two months we can start to eat them.



For this preparation we need larger varieties: gordal, sevillanas, etc.

Using a pestle and mortar, we break them up with a pestle and pestle or we can also cut them with a knife. We put them in jars covered with water which I change daily for 10 or 15 days depending on the size of the olives. After this time, add 10 g of salt per litre of water and some herbs with an intense flavour: rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, lemon peel, garlic or peppers. If we want them to be a little spicy, we can add more garlic and a chilli pepper. After about two weeks they are ready to eat. These olives have an intense and slightly bitter taste, but they are a good appetizer.



The olives must be ripe and black. Wash them and prick them one by one with a needle or a toothpick several times until they reach the stone so that the salt and water can penetrate well.

Once pricked, fill a container with them and cover them with fresh water, changing the water daily for 10 to 12 days so that they lose their bitterness.

In a pot with enough water, add 10 g of salt per litre, a few bay leaves, fennel and lemon peel. Let it boil for about 15 minutes and once it is cold, fill the jars with the olives and the infusion. After a week they can be consumed.



They are prepared with very ripe olives, which are beginning to shrivel and which we put in a net bag in the sun in a cool place so that they are dead and lose their bitterness. Put them in a large bowl, sprinkle salt on top, a few sprigs of thyme and orange or lemon peel, stirring every 2 or 3 days for about two weeks. After this time, shake off the excess salt, fill glass jars and add a trickle of extra virgin olive oil.

All these olive recipes should be kept in a cool, dark place and will last for several months without any problem. These are just a few examples of the most classic ones, but we can adapt them to our taste and get creative. With olives we have a natural and healthy food, rich in vitamin E and polyphenols which, like their oil, help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.