How to Preserve Vegetables in Olive Oil


Vegetables preserved in olive oil develop a soft texture and complex flavor that can quickly spice up any dish. You can preserve vegetables in olive oil by creating an environment where bacteria cannot grow. The olive oil works to seal out air, and the addition of an acidic liquid like vinegar or lemon juice makes the preserving liquid too acidic for bacterial growth. Preserve the fresh vibrant flavors of the vegetable harvest by sealing them in an olive oil and vinegar solution.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 gallon wide-mouth Mason jar (with ring and new lid)
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Oven
  • Oven mitts
  • Metal jar funnel
  • 2 tbsp. herbs and spices
  • 1 tbsp. pickling salts
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Wooden chopstick
  • Wax disc
  • Plastic wrap
  • Clean the jar with liquid dish soap and rinse it under hot running water. Examine the clean glass for cracks, scratches or flaws. If you find any, choose a better jar.

  • Place the still-wet jar in a preheated 275 degree F oven for about 4 minutes or until it is completely dry.

  • Remove the hot jar with oven mitts and put it on a stable surface. Insert the clean metal funnel.

  • Alternate adding about one-sixth of each ingredient and seasoning (vegetables, 2 tbsp. herbs and spices, 1 tbsp. pickling salts, 2 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups olive oil) until the jar is filled to within an inch of the rim. This will evenly distribute all the ingredients for a more even flavor and better preservation.

  • Press down in the center and along the side of the jar with a wooden chopstick to release any trapped air bubbles.

  • Pour in the reserve 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil until only 1/2 inch of head space remains at the top of the jar.

  • Place a new wax disc in the opening of the jar and rest the jar's lid on top.

  • Cover the lid with a piece of plastic wrap that is just large enough to cover without much overhang and secure it by screwing on the ring.

  • Store the sealed jar of olive oil preserved vegetables on the shelf in a cool dry pantry for at least two months before opening. Carefully packed vegetables will store safely for up to a year.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not waste the seasoned olive oil that comes out with the preserved vegetables. Drizzle it on salads, dip bread in it or finish a pasta dish with a few drops.
  • Try creating your own blends of flavors by preserving a few different vegetables together. Peppers, carrots and green beans combined with fresh cloves of garlic or dried herbs, such as oregano and thyme, make a delicious combination.

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  • Photo Credit empty glass jar image by vadim kozlovsky from
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