The Best Way To Pit Olives Without Losing A Finger

Olives are one of those love 'em or hate 'em foods, but if you love them, chances are you really love them. And honestly, with so many different types of olives, what's not to love? They can be briny and acidic or mellow and meaty. They can be marinated, blended into a delicious, spreadable tapenade, or used as a topping in an authentic Italian focaccia bread recipe. And of course, olive oil is the backbone of so many cuisines across the globe.

No matter the variety of olive, or the way in which it's used, they all have one obstacle to conquer before being eaten — the pit. Those little pits can be a pain to remove, and if you have a lot of olives to go through, it can be time-consuming as well. There are all kinds of gadgets on the market for pitting olives, but the truth is you almost certainly already have what you need in your kitchen, and there is a way to go about it so that you don't lose a finger.

Pit your olives with a knife. But wait! Don't try to cut around the pit or cut the tiny olive in half, that's a one-way ticket to the ER. Instead, using the broad side of your knife, gently smash down on the olive much as you would with a garlic clove. This will break open the flesh a bit, making it easy to dig in and tear out the pit.

What to do with those pitted olives

This hack, while easy, isn't always foolproof. The larger Castelvetrano olives, for example, tend to have very clingy pits, in which case it might be better to carefully cut away the flesh with a small paring knife. Tiny Niçoise olives aren't even worth pitting. You can just warn your guests ahead of time. However, for other olives, the whack-and-pit method should work fairly well.

Now that you've got your pile of pitted olives, what can you do with them? Try this Baked feta with olives recipe for a great snack or starter course. If you want to go for something a bit healthier, the muffuletta olive salad recipe is a little bit of New Orleans mixed with Italy, all in a bowl. And a staple of any summer picnic should be this Greek-ish salad with marinated cheese curds recipe, which calls for Kalamata olives.

Of course, you could always toss your pitted olives with a bit of good olive oil and a sprinkling of crunchy salt and call it a day. Now that you know the trick to quickly and safely pitting olives, a snack like that can be all yours in no time.