A modern interpretation of an old, family olive salad recipe from Chef Annette Tomei
I was inspired by a trip to the farmers’ market to try and recreate my grandmother’s olive salad. Springtime is my favorite season at the market. I love the tenderness of baby vegetables. And the surprise ingredients the season might bring–like baby celery.
And since celery is historically and scientifically noted as an aphrodisiac, I thought it would make the perfect addition to a sensual salad. The base of this springtime salad remains as my grandmother made it, with Greek olives. But I layered my version with a variety of textures and flavors for a true sensory experience.
I used a combination of breakfast radishes along with the garden variety, globe-type. But you can use any type of radishes you prefer. You can also use the soft leaves of mature celery of baby celery isn’t available. But if you ever happen upon the supple, young variety of celery, promise me that you will make this olive salad!
Celery Olive Salad
- 1 ½ cups sliced celery with young tender leaves if possible
- 1 cup pitted Greek large green olives or Sicilian, sliced thick
- 2-3 fresh radishes sliced thin
- Optional: if using very fresh tender celery incorporate the leaves as well, roughly chopped
For the dressing:
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp grape seed oil or EVOO
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped
- Combine the celery, leaves (if using), olives, and radishes in a bowl (incorporate some of the oil marinade from the olives if desired for extra flavor). Season lightly with salt to begin softening the celery.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Adjust seasoning as desired. Toss dressing with the salad.
- Enjoy immediately, or--even better--allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serve as an antipasto or as a side with sandwiches, charcuterie or cheeses.
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