From my Plated Heirlooms


Not only are delicious, but to me are the most precious. Olives are earth’s way of taking care of us, like a mother nurturing a child, the earth nurtures us with the olive tree. From its shade to protect us from the sun, to its wood to burn a fire if need be, to its highly nutritious fruit that nurtures and detoxes our bodies, and its precious oil that does the same, and lights our homes if needed to even making soap to cleanse all that is no longer useful. The olive tree, its olives and oil are the story of a terroir, of the earth and in the Palestinian case are the story of a people. I have a full section in my book Plated Heirlooms that dives deep into the significance of the olive tree, its fruit and oil to the Palestinian people from a historical, cultural as well as a spiritual perspective. I delve deep into the olive world, from planting, to harvest and its customs, to even extraction of oil and brining of the olives (both types). Then I tell you the custom of naming olive trees and planting trees for newborns as well as baptising children with this precious oil… Make sure to grab a copy and read this beautiful story.

For here though, I am sharing with you my olive brining recipe. It is really simple and produces amazing olives for you to enjoy with your family and loved ones. This is the same recipe we follow in making my DS Organic Olives in Brine. If you can make your own great, if not I have an outstanding product for you to buy.

Let’s check this out…


  • 1Kg fresh Olives (green, black or both)
  • 1/2 Kg unwaxed Lemon
  • Green Chilies (quantity is optional)
  • 2 cups lemon Juice
  • 500g DS Pink Himalayan Salt

For Brine

  • For each 1 cup water you need 1 1/4 tbsp Salt

Start by thoroughly washing the fresh olives, removing the dust or any soil residue on them. Dry them well.

You can either score each olive on 3 sides or you can crush them using a mortar. Once all the olives had been scored or crushed, place them in a large bowl and soak with water for 3 days, changing the water once daily. This process reduces the natural bitterness of the olives.

After the 3 days, remove all water and add the 500g salt and toss to coat all olives. Let the olives sit at room temperature (18-20 C), for 2 days, draining the water daily. The olives will soak up the salt and further reduce in bitterness.

On the second day, roughly chop the lemons and chilies and mix then set aside. Discard all the liquids in the olives bowl and mix in the chopped lemons and chilies.

Sterilise some jars by boiling them and their lids for 5 minutes, then dry them in a warm oven. Do not use towels to dry them. Another way to sterilise the jars is by washing and drying them in the dishwasher. Fill each jar with the olives mixture, leaving about 1 inch empty.


Make the brine, by mixing enough water and salt together to fill the jars (feel free to make a little at a time and go as needed).

Top the olive mixture in the jars with the brine to the top. Close the lid tightly. The olives will be ready to eat in a month time.



You can brine black olives separately from the green, or you can mix both together. I have added the chilies and lemon for flavour (as my family recipe always includes these), but you can carry out without them if you prefer plain olives like the ones in the picture above.

Check out my article “Olive Oil, The Story Of Terroir” on this link. I think you will enjoy reading it.

This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.


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