Nancy- Yeah, I know. No crushing. Chopped? Maybe something was lost in translation. I don’t think you actually want to crush anything, it would ruin the texture. You just want the olives diced. Buying high quality pitted olives will make this a breeze.
The combination of olives and celery together is magical. One of the best salads I’ve ever eaten was a similar one in a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in Jackson Heights, NY. The only table left was the last one at the back of the long, crowded space, by the kitchen doors and underneath the rickety shelf of cleaning supplies (I clearly remember seeing a bottle of Clorox and a can of Comet leaning precariously overhead)…I was presented with a rough-chop of romaine, celery leaves and celey, black and bitter cracked green olives in EVOO and sharp red wine vinegar. Served with bread that was warm, crusty and tender-crumbed, it was a revelation. I’ve recreated it many times. I’m thankful for your post; now I have a new version to try.
This is very Sicilian. I ate it at my grandmother’s house every time we went over for dinner. It always was served with the main course — after pasta — and was eaten to promote digestion. It was a lot chunkier. Big slices of celery and the olives were just smashed on the side with a knife. You had to deal with the pits yourself. Simply dressed and always slightly bitter. I make it for my own kids who think it’s just weird. But someday….
I love this. I made it with good pitted olives in about 5 minutes (don’t tell Bryan)–but I quite like Susan’s suggestion above of serving it with smashed, pit-in olives. I agree with Tim that I did like the cut-edge texture here, but when I’m cooking I also enjoy any opportunity to make my eaters do some of the work.
thanks for sharing this recipe. it came right on time, because i harvested a lot of celery and had no idea what to do with such an amount. and what shall i say, the salad was super delicious. great combination. we liked a lot!
This looks delicious. I can get good pitted olives at my local store so this is definitely on the cards. Do you think it might work OK with black olives instead, as there are a couple of fusspots I happen to know?
This is lovely, thank you for sharing such a great blog. This salad reminds me of a “pea salad” that my Mississippian grandmother-in-law makes. She includes celery, green olives, peas, and hard boiled eggs. I think that’s everything… I think maybe I am forgetting something but that’s the basics. Sometimes mayo based and sometimes olive oil based dressing. Thought you might find it interesting.
just found you through happy yolks…this salad looks great, I have my own Bryan and he is called Chris, he does precision way better than me..we all need a Bryan…trouble is its his 40th and I want to surprise him with a bunch of never eaten before dishes so i will have to chop solo
I meant to tell you about it, but totally forgot: made this recipe straight away. My family are not celery lovers, they actually claim they are allergic to celery. So when I cook with the ‘forbidden’ ingredients, I just don’t tell them what’s inside and also usually come up with some fancy Italian names. So the feedback about this salad was: “Wow, this is amazing!”
Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Your passionate follower, Tara
This looks wonderfu — eager to try soon, even though it is not summer. One question: I absolutely cannot abide mint. Can you think of another herb that would meld well with the celery/olives? Italian parsley, or is that too bland?
Made this last night and served in on grilled baguette that had been brushed with garlic. Everyone loved it! The mixture can be made several hours ahead and refreshed with the mint at the last minute. Thanks!