How to Marinate Olives: Home-made Style

Hello my name is Susana and I have an addiction to olives!

Being of European background (I’m Portuguese), I have grown up with organically grown veggies in the garden, having our back yard surrounded by dozen of fruit trees, grape vines hanging off our fences, and mum and dad curing their own salamis, prosciutto and olives all of my life.

To me, I have always thought that was been a normal way of living and thought everyone’s family did that.

As a kid, I hated when mum and dad would force me to help out with the picking of the olives from the olive trees or stuffing the meat into the hog casings. I always thought how boring it was and that I could be better off watching whatever cartoon or television show.

Fast forward many many years later and now I absolutely love it and get so excited to that time of year again to pick the olives from the olives trees and curate my own style of olives.

Unfortunately my father wasn’t able to teach me how to make my own prosciutto, salamis and olives, as he passed away unexpectedly in 2009. While he was in hospital at the time, as a motivation for him to think positive to want to come back home and improve his health with the power of positive thinking, I would always say to my father: “I need you at home papa. You have to teach me how to make prosciutto, and salami, and those olives!!!” Sadly he never came back home.

A couple of years ago, I asked my amazing mama to finally teach me and I can now proudly say, my olives and salamis are out of this world DELICIOSA!!! …if I do so say myself! 🙂


To prepare the olives you can do two things:

a) make a simple, straight cut or poke with a fork into each olive. What this does is that it will release some of the bitterness and soak flavour a lot faster,


b) just let them be as they are (which is what I do)

  • Place all olives in a big bucket, cover them with water, so that they are fully submerged.
  • Leave the olives in the bucket submerged in water for 2 – 3 weeks, changing the water every day (it only (it only takes a few minutes of your time)










Chop up garlic cloves
Cut in half a handful of bay leaves
Cut thin slices of a small lemon


  • Water
  • 3 x medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • Bay leaves
  • 1 x small lemon, thinly sliced
  • Virgin olive oil, half a cup

Just now you can add in all sorts of different herbs and even spices to make up your own style of marinated olives. It’s all trial and error and that becomes the fun bit – experimenting with different condiments to make up your own flavour and style. I would suggest, if you want to make up a few different flavoured marinated olives, is having a few separate buckets of olives so you can add in and mix up the different tastes.

Additional note: if you notice over the coming week to a couple of weeks, some olives having brown spots don’t worry! That is completely normal. There is most definitely nothing wrong with the olives and they haven’t gone off. Just make sure you bucket or large jar is completely sealed at all times.

Now your olives are ready to take on the flavours of the marinade

Take the olives out of the buckets, and remove any excess salt and just hand wash it to get rid of any scum (which is very normal). Up to you on how you mix the olives, whether it be in a large bowl or back in a large bucket like I do. Add your special mixture and stir it well through so that the olives absorb the mixture.

Place the olives in a closed jars or large large buckets (with solid tight lids) with a brine solution (brine is basically salty water). To make brine, you will need to mix in 1/3 cup salt to every 1 litre of water you need. Heat up the salty water in a pot and stir until all the salt has dissolved. Make sure to let the water cool for at least an hour and then pour it completely over the olives.

Next you will then need some olive oil, which you will pour over the top of the brine solution, covering the olives completely. This will preserve the olives longer. Make sure to seal the jars or the large buckets and then leave them for up to four weeks to soak up the deliciosa flavours.

I usually start taste testing one or two after the three and a half week mark just to get a gage on how they are travelling (i.e. if they need more herbs or extra flavours).

The best thing is that you can keep your olives stored for up to six months in the back of your pantry cupboard. You can leave them stored in the brine or in olive oil. The choice is all yours. But I stash my yummy olives in olive oil and the original mixtures.

How to Marinate Olives | Style & Life by Susana

Bon Appétit!

 Good luck and let me know if you marinade your olives and what herbs and/or spices do you add? I would love to hear from you! x

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  • Thank you so much! They also taught me how to do my own prosciutto and salamis. Will be showing that on the blog soon. Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting! xx

  • Barbara Radisavljevic
    May 15, 2017

    Your parents passed some lovely and useful skills to you. Tasty ones.

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 24, 2017

    Thank you lovely xx Susana

  • Camilla
    February 24, 2017

    What a beautiful tradition!!



  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 23, 2017

    Thank you so much for commenting babe, appreciate it xx Susana

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 23, 2017

    Haha thanks babe. I’m seriously addicted to them but want to keep the family tradition going xx Susana

  • Tamarah Harvey
    February 23, 2017

    Love that you’re continuing the family tradition. And soooo awesome that they can be stored for up to 6 months!! Super excited to give these a try when I have time…they look so yummy!! 😀

  • Sharon Wu
    February 23, 2017

    You make olives look so good! I need to try this soon xo, sharon

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 22, 2017

    Thank you so much xx Susana

  • Sophie Louise Buckle
    February 22, 2017

    I absolutely adore fresh olives and this sounds like a fabulous recipe!!

    Sophie x

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 22, 2017

    I completely agree olives trees are so beautiful and exotic. I find that there is also a peaceful quality about them and transcendent xx Susana

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 22, 2017

    Thank you so much. Home style always tastes better (and its better for you too) xx Susana

  • Tereza Cityscape Bliss
    February 22, 2017

    This is so ridiculously cool! When I lived in Greece I loved walking through the olive orchards they had there, olive trees are so beautiful! And they just seem so exotic because we don’t have them around here. I bet your olives are delicious! x

  • Paula Czarnomska
    February 22, 2017

    I thought the same! 😀 it’s always completely different to make something fresh at home. I love everything homemade 😉 Great post!

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 22, 2017

    Haha sounds like an awesome plan babe! xx Susana

  • Annabelle Schmitt
    February 22, 2017

    Oh my gosh I wish I had access to fresh olives. I’m 100% gonna ask my dad to make these when I visit home though!!! I wanna try these SO bad!

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 6, 2017

    Let me know how you go if you @kristaaoki:disqus xx Susana

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 6, 2017

    I have a serious addiction to olives and can’t wait to make the next batch *LOL* @danielleruppert:disqus xx Susana

  • Style and Life by Susana
    February 6, 2017

    Thank you for commenting, really appreciate it babe @thesheapproach:disqus xx Susana

  • Krista Aoki
    February 6, 2017

    Holy moly! I had no idea that you could curate your own olives (I’m freaking numb skulled, I know). Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t wait to try this.

  • Danielle Ruppert
    February 6, 2017

    My mouth was drooling the whole time I read this post! I need to go raid my fridge for some olives now! I’m definitely going to have to try this❤

  • Ana - The She Approach
    February 6, 2017

    I am soo craving some olives right now. What an awesome and simple way to marinate them!
    Thanks for sharing

  • Style and Life by Susana
    January 6, 2017

    Thank you for commenting and dropping by @sistertales xx Susana

  • sister tales
    June 2, 2016

    Oh my gosh! What an awesome “how to” they look beautiful and yummy through out! Thanks for this, I am going to have to give this a whirl!