GREEN OLIVE SALAD

Sometimes you see a recipe and you just know it will please you. I’ve blogged about a similar version years ago, but this one is more substantial and even if you are a celery hater, you might enjoy it. My little tip: peel the celery before slicing it. It’s not that hard, just pull the strings that sit on top of the ridges, they come off easily and that unpleasant (for some) texture of stringy celery will be history.  Another twist that makes this salad special is adding the Parmigiano cheese in small chunks. Use a fork and go at it. I found this recipe over at Cookie & Kate’s blog, and made it almost on that same day.  They added garlic, I did not. Other than that, no changes.

GREEN OLIVE SALAD WITH ALMONDS, CELERY, AND PARMIGIANO
(from Cookie & Kate)

2 cups large pitted green olives, drained and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced celery (from 2 to 3 medium ribs)
½ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 ounces Parmigiano cheese, crumbled with a fork or knife point
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I added one extra tablespoon before serving)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Leaves from celery ribs, roughly chopped, for garnish

In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the celery leaves together. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your preference.

Garnish with the chopped celery leaves. Refrigerate until needed. Leftovers are even better after a couple of days in the fridge. 

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This concoction not only works well as a side-dish for many types of protein, but you could slice some sourdough or simple baguette and use it as a topping, serving as appetizer before a dinner party, for instance. The flavors get more intense in a couple of days, and the almonds mellow down in texture a bit. Amazing what braces can do, I now have to worry (a lot) about texture. In fact, if you are cooking for someone wearing braces, opt for slivered almonds. They are a bit more “predictable” in terms of their crunch. When you chop whole almonds coarsely, some bits end up with incredibly sharp edges. Of course, I am aware that 99.99% of my readers don’t have to worry about it. Still, it doesn’t hurt to mention. Just in case. When I make this salad again, slivered almond will be playing…  Side note, I am almost reaching the 6 month mark of braces on a 2 year voyage, and I am so ready to be done (sigh).

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POMEGRANATE WALNUT DELIGHT

This unusual salad will take the center spot in any meal with its intense flavors and contrast of textures. I spotted the recipe around Thanksgiving last year, saved it to my Pinterest cooking board, and finally made it.  Please, don’t drag your feet like I did, make it sooner rather than later. Green olives, walnuts, pomegranate seeds… What a treat!
served111

GREEN OLIVE, WALNUTS & POMEGRANATE SALAD
(adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen,  original recipe at Turquoise)   

3/4 cup shelled walnuts
1/2 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
3/4  cup pomegranate seeds
1 red Serrano chile, seeded and finely minced
shredded flat-leaf parsley to taste
1 tablespoon walnut oil
splash of pomegranate molasses
juice of ½ lemon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350⁰F. Scatter the walnuts onto a jelly-roll pan and roast for 5-10 minutes, until deep golden brown.  Chop the walnuts coarsely and toss in a sieve to remove any remaining skin or dust.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or so before serving to allow flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning. I ended up adding more lemon juice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Confession: I tend to be salad-lazy.  I don’t mind making a recipe that involves plenty of steps, be it reducing a sauce, braising for hours, or as you probably know, bake a loaf of bread that took 12 hours to proof.  But, ask me to make a multi-ingredient salad and I am invaded by a sense of pure exhaustion.  Washing the greens, cutting all ingredients, preparing the dressing…  However, this salad never left my mind from the day I saw it at Alexandra’s site, which, by the way, is a site worth subscribing to.  And, did you notice?  No greens to wash. Yeaaaaaah!   😉

Everything works in this recipe. I am a lot more fond of black Kalamata type olives than green, but trust me, they taste unbelievably good here.  Together with the unique heat that only a Serrano pepper delivers, you’ll enjoy the sweet and sour taste of pomegranate molasses, the toasty walnuts, the herby parsley, the lemon, and last but not least the pomegranate seeds!  Like little pine nuts dressed for a gala party…
We love them!

Three words for you: Make this salad.

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