Monday, August 4, 2008

Recipe for Cargill's Salad

Back in the 1960's and 1970's going out to a restaurant was a treat and not a weekly occurrence as it is today. Cargill's was a family restaurant near the rural community of McVeytown, Pennsylvania, where my family would go for dinner after church once every few weeks. As with so many family-run restaurants, its life was relatively short (the original owners retired) and it is no longer in existence. I don't remember a thing about any of the dishes from Cargill's Restaurant except their signature salad, which I recreated because I enjoyed it so much. If you love olives, this salad is for you. Few ingredients, simple flavors, and a combination of wonderful textures make up this easy salad.

Cargill's Salad

Serves 4 as a side salad

1/2 head iceburg lettuce, chopped in 1-inch pieces
1 medium ripe tomato, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
2 narrow ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 hard-boiled eggs, cut lengthwise into quarters and then across three times
Good quality mayonnaise, such as Kraft (about 1/2 cup)
20 small green stuffed olives, coarsely chopped
Olive brine
Salt & Pepper

In a large bowl, toss together vegetables, eggs, and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Add a generous spoonful of mayo and a drizzle of the olive brine (about 2 tsps. or more for more olive flavor). Gently fold into vegetable mixture. All the vegetables should be lightly coated with the mayo/olive brine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

To make ahead: Combine the vegetables and eggs and store in refrigerator. Just before serving, add the S&P, olives, and mayo/brine.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie

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