Olives add zip to menu

  • Associated Press
  • Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:00pm
  • Life

Salads can make great eating most of the year, but they have a special place on summertime menus.

It’s easy enough to throw into a salad whatever’s at hand, but it’s also fun to try specific combinations of ingredients for a change of pace.

Olives in various forms give salads a flavor lift, antipasto-style. Here are a couple of salad variations using olives, to serve at the dining table, or for al fresco eating and picnics.

These salads are tasty enough to serve as antipasti, but substantial enough for a light entree.

Double olive antipasto salad

2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1clove garlic, minced

1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3ounces smoked mozzarella or Gouda cheese, diced (3/4 cup)

2 ounces Genoa salami, diced

1/2 cup manzanilla olives stuffed with pimiento, halved crosswise

1/2 cup black ripe pitted olives, halved crosswise

1/3cup drained hot or mild giardiniera (pickled vegetables) or diced cherry peppers (from a jar)

1/2cup fat-free garlic croutons

4cups baby spinach leaves

In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper; mix well. Add cheese, salami, both olives and giardiniera, tossing to coat. Cover; chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Add croutons to olive mixture, tossing to coat. Arrange spinach leaves on serving plates; top with salad.

Makes 4 servings as side dish or 2 servings as main-dish salad. Per side-dish serving: 290 cal., 22 g fat, 40 mg chol., 981 mg sodium, 11 g carbo, 3 g fiber, 10 g pro.

Shrimp and green olive antipasto salad

2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1teaspoon anchovy paste, or 1 anchovy, chopped

1clove garlic, minced

1/2teaspoon sugar

1/4teaspoon salt

1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8ounces cooked, peeled and deveined medium shrimp

1/2cup manzanilla olives stuffed with pimiento, halved crosswise

1/2cup halved cherry tomatoes or yellow teardrop tomatoes

1/3cup diced roasted red, or red and yellow, bell peppers, drained

1/3cup coarsely chopped, marinated quartered artichoke hearts

1/4cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

8large Romaine lettuce leaves

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper; mix well. Add shrimp, olives, tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts and cheese, tossing to coat. Cover; chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Serve shrimp mixture over lettuce leaves.

Makes 4 servings as side dish or 2 servings as main-dish salad. Per side-dish serving: 199 cal., 12 g total fat, 116 mg chol., 878 mg sodium, 6 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 15 g pro.

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