Olives are the best things on pizza, right? The underpinning of Italian and Greek cuisines, olives come in so many forms and have so many uses. Salads, of course, and as pastes and pâtés. But also served warm with herbs, inserted into baked and grilled dishes, and dotted around pasta sauces. How would we make do without their dark, salty bite?
In the Middle East and places like Afghanistan and Turkey, Pomegranates are all the rage, and the pairing of olives, pomegranate and nuts is rather common as you get closer to the Mediterranean. We have used Pomegranates with Walnuts and Pistachios before, with just Walnuts, with Hazelnuts, and today we use just Pistachios. This one is a herbaceous salad, and absolutely divine.
The dressing has the Middle Eastern spice, Golpar, in the dressing. This is available from Middle Eastern and Afghan groceries. You might need to buy the seeds (they look like lacy butterfly wings) and grind your own. It is a beautiful spice, but if you can’t find it, leave it out.
Surprisingly, oranges and olives go really well together. This Moroccan salad brings them together with some typically Moroccan spices. A simple salad but one with punch. It is a great salad for Winter when the oranges are at their best – ripe and juicy. It IS spicy so add the chilli gradually until you find your taste preferences.
Other Moroccan dishes include Moroccan Carrot Salad, and Baked Eggplant and Zucchini with Chickpeas and Harissa Sauce.
Cream cheese still features in our kitchen, despite its fall from grace. Over-used in the ’80s and ’90s, cooks have relegated it to supermarket shelves. But, thank goodness, really good cream cheese still exists if you look around. It makes very easy, simple but flavoursome dips and spreads, and snack balls.
This spread mixes cream cheese with olives and herbs. Cream cheese is quite bland, so we spice things up by incorporating some chilli toasted pine nuts. It is hardly a recipe, it is that simple. But we share it here anyway.
Use the spread on crackers, on hot toast or crumpets, and with roasted vegetables.
Well, watermelon has this household hooked in the Summer hot weather – that luscious pink colour going looking so good in the heat, and the juices running down onto one’s plate (or down one’s chin). Eaten with a sucking noise, to extract every piece of juice, it cools and supplies a sugar energy boost at the same time.
It is so good to slice it, take it outside and eat with ones hands, the rind still on, gnawing at it to get the last of the pink bits. Or cut into cubes, more delicately eaten with a fork, popping ice-cold cubes into our mouths with regular automatic movements of fork to cube to mouth and back again.
Today we mix it with feta, such a good mix, some onion, mint and olives, for a quick salad. I have some creamy feta from the local Afghan shop, so creamy it can be spread onto flatbread for quick snacks. But today I managed to save some for the salad.
We have a collection of Watermelon Salads for you to explore – we brought together all our favourite salads in one post.
Similar recipes include Watermelon and Feta Salad, Watermelon, Apple and Lemongrass Salad, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, Watermelon and Peach Salad with Basil, Apple and Grape Salad with Spices, and Haloumi and Watermelon Salad.
There are a great number of recipes around for a spread made from green olives, but this is the easiest. Made with ingredients straight from your kitchen, no special purchases required, it is made in seconds, and your family or gang of friends will devour it in minutes.
This tapenade is salty, spicy (from the chilli) and pungent (from the garlic). Just perfect for a cool Early Summer day’ snacks on the verandah with some aniseed tea.
Similar recipes include Black Olive and Herb Cream Cheese with Chilli Pine. Nuts, Fava, Tapenade Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella, Tomato Salad with Green Olives, and Olive and Orange Salad with Mint and Basil.
After years of not using mayonnaise in my salads (I don’t eat eggs so don’t make my own and don’t love it enough to purchase it), I whipped up my Mother’s very retro eggless mayo that she always made with a can of condensed milk, white vinegar and mustard (or other flavouring).
Now we have a couple of salads that use mayo – A Quick Tomato Salad with Mustardy Mayo, and today’s salad which is sort of a wild variation on Salade Niçoise. Salade Nicoise is a salad that originated in the French city of Nice. It is traditionally made of tomatoes, olives, and other accompaniments, dressed with olive oil, or in later years, mayonnaise. This is a variation on that theme that I quite love.
Or perhaps Fennel Salads? Try Fennel with Almonds and Raisins, Fennel and Feta Salad with Sumac and Pomegranate, Fennel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette, Fennel Salad with Fresh Prunes, and Nashi Pear, Celery and Fennel Salad with Panch Phoron Crunch.
The Autumn glut of tomatoes sees me finding ways to use them, as well as popping as many as I can into the freezer. Although the weather is cooler in the mornings and evenings, salads are still on our home menu each day. Sometimes they are snacks, perhaps with some flatbread, sometimes they accompany a meal, sometimes they are the meal.
A quick salad this morning with sweet vine-ripened tomatoes fresh from the garden, tossed together with some green olives. Divine, the tang of the olives against the sweet tomatoes.
Are you after other Tomato Salads? Try Ensalada, Red Pepper and Tomato Salad with Crispy Flatbread, Chilli and Lime, Bok Choy with Tomatoes and Capers, and Warm Tomato Salad.
Why not browse all of our Tomato Salads, indeed, all of our MANY Salads. I am sure you will find inspiration. Or have a look at our general Tomato recipes and our Olive recipes. Or take some time to explore our Early Autumn dishes.
Bounce into (almost) summer with a sweet citrus salad with Italian flavours. Simply mix herbs with orange, onion and olives – what a wonderful homage to this stunning weather. May there be much more of it. This is the time to enjoy eating outside under the shade of a tree with a carafe of white wine, salads and fresh flatbread, and lots of fruits with creme fraiche. For this salad, use navel oranges if they are of good quality (easy to peel), but grab some more seasonal ones if they look better and juicier.
Our similar recipes include Moroccan Orange and Carrot Salad, Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad, Moroccan Salad with Radishes, Orange and Date Salad with Fennel Orange Dressing, Orange and Walnut Salad, and Halloumi and Orange Salad.
A harmony of flavours.
Did I tell you just how good Ottolenghi’s Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad is? It is amazing. From Plenty, a favourite amongst his books. It is a great salad for late Winter and early Spring, but can be made any time.
Also browse our other Ottolenghi dishes, all of our Beetroot Recipes, Orange Recipes, and Olive Recipes. We have a wealth of Salad Recipes for you to try. Or explore our Early Spring recipes for more inspiration.