Olives Violettes

Purple Olives

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

French Country Kitchen

French Country Kitchen

By Geraldene Holt

Published 1987

  • About

Purple olives are picked when they have passed from the green stage and are half-way to being fully ripe. They are frequently prepared with lemon or with bitter oranges.


  • 1 ½ kg(3–3½ lb) purple olives
  • 3–4 lemons
  • 340 g(12 oz) salt


Wash the olives and drain well. Make a slit in the side of each olive; if the olives are specially large make a slit on each side.

Tip the olives into a crock or preserving jar and cover with cold water. Cover with a close-fitting lid and leave in a cold place for 5 weeks, changing the water after 3½ weeks.

Slice the lemons and mix with the salt.

Drain and rinse the olives. Replace in the crock or preserving jar, layering with the salted lemon mixture, making sure to have a lemon layer on top.

Next day, if necessary, add a little cold water so that the liquid covers the olives. Cover and leave for 7 days. The olives should then be ready to eat.