Italian Olive Salad

Italian olive salad

Olive Salad

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

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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.


Category: Poor Boys, Salad, Sauces  Tags:
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11 Responses
  1. Ruth Bone says:

    I had never come across olive salad, shop bought or homemade, but I made it today & my husband & I loved it. It is great that it keeps for 6 weeks but I’m sure it won’t last that long!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Bought a jar of Gambino’s Olive Salad it was a mananger’s close-out special. Unfortunately close-out really does mean the store won’t carry it any more…. but my family LOVED it, all 5 kids!!! So, I was searching on-line hoping I could order a jar when I came across your recipe. YEAH!! I will be making a double batch and keeping it in the frig. For a quick meal we combine the olive salad with a can of drained tuna and serve on crackers. Add a hot bowl of soup and dinner is served! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
    We like adding chopped jalapeno too for a special kick.

    • Genet says:

      Unfortunately, outside of South Louisiana not many people know what olive salad is or how to enjoy it (especially beyond muffulettas). I think that’s one of the reasons why stores stop carrying it. So glad one of my recipe’s could fill a void! And I love your tuna “toss” and jalapeño “embellishment” ideas. Gotta try those myself! Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. Suzanne says:

    I grew up in NO, so my hub and I enjoy a muffie now and then. I can get the Boscoli brand olive salad at heb here in Tx, but it’s gotten so pricey. Your recipe looks good. Do you precook the carrots and cauliflower? I suppose you can sub canned artichokes in water instead of the oil? Thanks.

    • Genet says:

      Hey Suzanne! I do not precook the carrots or cauliflower because I like the crunch. But I do finely chop them. Some people prefer to use large chunks and boil them until crisp-tender. Either way is fine. Others use the jarred Italian pickled vegetables called Giardiniera. Artichokes packed in water are fine too. Just be sure to drain and rinse them! Hope you enjoy!

    • priscilla says:

      I love Boscoli Family Olive Salad! Tastes is unbelievably great

  4. Donna says:

    I love this recipe. I have had Country General’s brand, but I would like to make it myself. I want to know if this can be canned? I would love to make some for gift giving, and canning it would be the best way to do if, especially if I have to ship it.
    Will add more when I get this made, probably in the next couple of days! Love it!

    • Genet says:

      Hey Donna! Thanks for the sweet comment. You can certainly can this salad, I’m just know sure of the particulars. I did not grow up in a canning family and have
      never canned anything myself. Mastering that art is on my bucket list! I can say, though, that the olive salad will keep indefinitely in the fridge as long as the solid ingredients remain submerged in olive oil. Good luck and please let me know how the process turns out. Happy Thanksgiving!

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