elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: olives

I recently got back from a wonderful weekend of cooking at Peter Berley’s kitchen on the North Fork of Long Island. The theme of the weekend was cooking with local foods in the winter. This salad stood out to me because of its unusual combination of flavors that seemed to go perfectly together. I had a healthy serving of it with some homemade foccacia for lunch on Sunday at the workshop. I enjoyed it so much that I made it on my own again Sunday night for dinner with friends. Every last piece of parsley was eaten up. Prior to trying this salad, I was not a fan of the fennel. However, shaving fennel with a mandoline helps to keep the flavor mild and delicious. This salad is a light and fresh complement to any meal.

Thanks to Peter Berley for this recipe and many others throughout the weekend. Your creativity in the kitchen is very inspiring!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup shaved or very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 very large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, shaved or very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 pitted green, brine-cured olives, such as Picholine, sliced
  • shaved parmesan to sprinkle on top (optional)

Directions:

  1. Toss the onion with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the fennel, parsley, olives, and celery leaves with the olive oil and the onion and its liquid. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more olive oil or lemon if needed.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan (optional) and serve.

This is a salad adapted from a delicious Mexican Pie Dip traditionally served at my family’s Thanksgiving and famous for spoiling my appetite for dinner several years in a row.

Individual servings of the salad can be made in one bowl (as shown in the picture), or you can make a giant salad in a large pie pan. 

NOTE: If you want to make the dip, it is is made without the lettuce. Instead of crumbling the chips on top, just serve chips alongside the dip.  It also is made with double the sour cream/mayo/taco seasoning mix and less tomatoes.  Really, you can adapt quantity of the different ingredients to your choosing. 

Ingredients:

  • one container of black bean dip of your choice
  • homemade gruacamole (3 avocados mashed up, 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, juice of half a lime, salt and pepper)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups bibb lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 small container sliced black olives
  • 10-15 tortilla chips, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Make guacamole by combining ingredients listed above (or buy store-bought guac)
  2. Mix taco seasoning mix with the sour cream and mayo.
  3. Layer ingredients in a large pan in the following order: bean dip, guacamole, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning mixture, lettuce, tomato, scallion, olives, chips.
  4. Dig in.