Fresh olives are sold in bulk at very affordable prices. While this recipe only makes use of a ½ gallon of olives, take advantage of larger quantities and spice them differently in order to vary the flavors in your kitchen. Incidentally, the water-curing method for preparing olives results in more oleuropein – an antioxidant thought to boost the immune system – in the end product which is, in part, why we chose this method.
Rinse clean and pick over the fresh olives, discarding any obviously marred fruit. Discard any leaves or stems. Gently slice each olive on one side to the pit.
Dump the cracked olives into a large, food-safe container fill it with filtered water. Drain, rinse and fill the olive container with water again twice a day every day for two weeks or until they lose their bitterness.
Prepare a brine by whisking the salt, vinegar and 4 cups water.
Drain the olives and rinse them, and then place them into a ½-gallon mason jar with spices, lemon and chilies.
Pour the brine over the olives, and allow them to ferment at least 6 weeks or until pleasantly sour.