I have never made olive salad from scratch, until today. I’ve figured the jarred varieties made by a couple of New Orleans grocery stores would be better than anything I could ever pull together. However, olive salad has always been one of those items on my make-it-from-scratch-at-least-once list. So I did. And like most of the things that get scratched off that list (no pun intended), I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The texture was the most notable difference. The olives had more bounce. The cauliflower more crunch. The overall freshness of the olive salad was a huge surprise too. I didn’t think that would matter much when dealing with a bunch of pickled and brined ingredients. Overall, it was well worth the effort. I’m sure I’ll be making another batch from scratch once this one is gone!
Italian Olive Salad is the trademark condiment of muffulettas, those bigger-than-life Sicilian sandwiches sold in grocery stores, neighborhood restaurants and poor boy shops around the City. It’s an incredibly rich medley of chopped olives, marinated Italian vegetables, olive oil and garlic. Those aromatic ingredients also make it a welcomed addition to pastas, pizzas, salads, dips and spreads.
Italian Olive Salad Recipe
2 cups large pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower florets
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped pimientos
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped cocktail onions
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Store leftover olive salad in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.