I was going to call this Castelvetrano & Tomato Salad but I quickly realized two things. 1. I can’t spell Castelvetrano, let alone say it out loud, without Google assistance and 2. Up until about a week ago, I had no idea that Castelvetrano was a type of olive and I’m betting you didn’t either.
So, we’re going to stick with Olive & Tomato Salad to make it easier for everyone involved.
I was not an olive person until a few years ago. That probably had a little to do with the fact that my mom was (and still isn’t) an olive person, so we never really had them in our house. It also probably had to do with the fact that the very few olives I experienced came from a can and I thought that tasted way too salty and tinny.
Then my mother-in-law, Karyn (look at you being in two posts this week!), made Pioneer Woman’s Olive Cheese Bread for a party and it was AMAZING. It might have been the stick of butter, pound of cheese, or the mayo, but for some reason, I loved the olives in that particular recipe. So, I started liking olives in things but not on their own. I wouldn’t just pop a handful of olives into my mouth as a snack.
Then I met the Olive Bar at Whole Foods and found the Castelvetrano olive.
You guys. Fresh olives are like, the best thing ever. I know olive farmers are reading this with a, “No duh”, face right now (because obviously, I have a large olive farmer fan base) but I had never had a fresh olive and when I did it changed the game. And Castelvetrano olives?
Buttery. Mild. A little salty. A little sweet. A lot perfect.
I made this salad for Memorial Day and used my Tomato Cucumber Salad as a starting point but decided to add olives instead of cucumber. It went over really well. I believe my sister, another disliker of olives, even said it was good. I love when that happens.
I plan to make this salad a lot this summer, especially for our Concerts in the Park which are starting up next week. If you’re in the Chicago area and want some free summer fun, you should check out the concert schedule. They have a Star Wars concert this year, along with the Canadian Brass and a Broadway concert. I can’t wait!
What are your favorite summer events and summer dishes?
Olive & Tomato Salad
- 16 oz grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 oz fresh Castelvetrano olives, sliced*
- 2/3 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt + pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
*If you can’t find fresh olives or Castelvetrano olives, you can use any green olive, fresh or from a jar.
- Rinse and dry the tomatoes and cut in half. Then cut each half in half. Place into a large bowl. Add the sliced olives and diced onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then stir to combine.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to a small jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until the balsamic and olive oil are well combined. Pour this over the salad and stir to coat.
- Add the chopped cilantro and stir one more time. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. You can serve right away, but this is one of those salads that gets better as it sits. Keep covered in the fridge up to a week.