In the Kitchen – Pitting Olives

Do you love to cook with olives but worry that one of your guests or kids will break a tooth on a pit? Sure you can buy a can of pitted supermarket olives … but … you’ll miss the flavor and variety you can only get from the still-with-their-pits olives. Cerignola, Sicilian, Niçoise and more! I usually pit them before I throw them into a tagine or stew.

How to pit olives in a flash:

My favorite pitting tool is a heavy chef’s knife. I simply place the flat side of the knife on top of the olive and tap the knife with my fist to crack the olive. The pit pops right out of the cracked olive.

Not comfortable hitting a sharp knife? Take a can – whatever you find in your cupboard that easily fits in your hand and has a little weight behind it. Carefully clean the lid and then lightly tap or crush the olive with the can. The pit will slip right out of the cracked olive.

I find that I use my chef’s knife when I only have a handful of olives to pit for a tagine or stew and a can when I have a pound or two for a big batch of tapenade.

And a quick note, different olives need more or less pressure to crack. I find large, meaty green olives need quite a whack while oil cured black olives just need a little tap.

Enjoy cooking with olives and bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

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2 thoughts on “In the Kitchen – Pitting Olives

    • You’re welcome Sharyn. I usually have a can of black beans in my cupboard. It’s a good fit for my hand and has just enough heft to crack an olive. Have a great weekend – Susan

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