Crab Louie Salad, the healthy San Francisco Treat?

Featured in menus of reputable San Francisco & Portland restaurants since the early 1900s, this crab meat salad is a typical example of a locally sourced West Coast salad.

In Canada we are about to embark on our first long weekend of the summer. Monday is called Victoria Day (or National Patriot Day in Quebec). The weather is looking relatively nice and I will do my first trip to the cottage on Sunday. It’s the perfect time to start eating a bit lighter to for the summer and enjoy lovingly prepared fancy salads. I came across this West Coast classic and just had to give it a try, the Crab Louie Salad.

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Taste of Treme: Myesha’s Muffuletta Olive Salad

It’s been a while. How are you all? Sorry for my disappearance but I was sick with a very bad cold for over a week and I am still coughing now. I just finished a bronchitis a couple of weeks ago too. So I have not been commenting or anything lately but I am trying to get back to visiting everyone. To good health with the soon coming new year!

I am way overdue for a Vacation Eatz post, where I like to show you pictures from my photo albums (yes the printed kind) of past trips I have taken. And of course we’ll explore a dish local to that destination.

About 12 years ago I had one of the most wonderful trips of my life. Picture three ladies and rental mini van on a long road trip from Montreal to New Orleans and back. Now the trip was very focused on the journey, not just the destination. We had planned daily stops in Cleveland, Nashville, Memphis, the Smoky Mountains and New York City. But most of the trip was spent in the amazing city of New Orleans.

This road trip was definitely planned around food, even on our meager budget. Thankfully when in NOLA you will eat very well even if it is not fancy. We tried all the usual suspects: Gumbos, Jambalayas, Crocodile meat, Po Boys, Shrimp Etouffe and many other dishes. But a very special sandwich is one of my fondest epicurean moments: the Muffeletta.

Ah! the Muffeletta sandwich. I would never have thought a trip would have been so defined by a simple meal as a sandwich. We decided to give it a try after reading about the Muffeletta in our guidebook but we were not expecting much from the experience. When we saw the size…made from an entire round bread about 10 inches across…we were convinced we would be stuck with leftovers. The Muffeletta was served into 4 sliced portions. We had our quarter each and at the end we had a long discussion as to how we would divide the remaining piece equally in 3 and the next day we got another one for the road for our bayou and plantation expedition.

The muffeletta consists of a focaccia like bread sandwiching layers of marinated olive salad, capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese and provolone. Often it is slightly heated to soften the cheese. The sandwich was created by the local Italian immigrants as a quick lunch while working in the market. The real signature element is the Olive Salad.  I was so taken by surprise by the intense flavors of this olive salad that it has embedded itself deeply in my memory. I actually found a photo with my friend Marie of the actual Muffeletta we ate.

As I was flipping through the pages of a copy the Taste of Treme cookbook, I came across an Olive Salad recipe and the memories came rushing back in. This fabulous cookbook is filled really fun stories, history notes, pictures and of course recipes from NOLA. The cookbook focuses on the gritty and racially mixed neighborhood of Treme, now famous from the television series of the same name which takes place in three months after Hurricane Katrina as the residents of New Orleans try to rebuild their lives and their homes. In Treme you will find the heart and soul of true Soul Food.

I am really a fan of NOLA Soul Food so I was thrilled to be sent a copy of this cookbook for review from Ulysses Press. All the classic NOLA dishes are here and many unexpected more. You will learn how to prepare Crawfish, Roux, Andouille sausage stews, exotic drinks like the Hurricane, and fabulous sweets like the Beignets from Cafe du Monde.

Above is a picture of Marie and I enjoying these beignets. Again when we each ordered a plate at first we thought the portion was to big and we would not finish or plates. Wrong! We devoured our dessert greedily. And we went back every day for more. Next to us a lovely building from the French Quarter.

I am sure this is not the last recipe you will read here about from this cookbook but choosing to make the Myesha’s Muffuletta Olive Salad for this post was a no brainer for me. Everyone one should have a jar of this salad at home at all times in their fridge. The only thing I changed was the quantity of olive oil. This recipe (and all version of) use a massive amount of olive oil in my opinion, I cut it by a third and it was perfect for me.

 

Yields 3

Myesha's Muffuletta Olive Salad

The olive salad for the New Orleans classic sandwich, the Muffuletta

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 cup Kalamata or black olives
  • 1 Cup fine cut gardiniera
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp thinly sliced celery
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 4-oz jar pimientos peppers
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (recipe calls for 1 cup)
  • Salt & black pepper

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the green olives and the Kalamata or black olives. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Cover with the olive oil.
  2. Transfer the salad to a large jar with a lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 days, so the flavors have a chance to fully mingle, or up to 3 months.
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Sauces & Condiments
7.6.4
216
http://cultureatz.com/taste-of-treme-myeshas-muffuletta-olive-salad/

 

I served my Olive Salad in a lighter fashion: a half slice of a French Bagette and a lovely French cheese called Saint-Nectaire (hints of hazelnut and mushrooms) which I popped in the oven for a few minutes. And stay tuned for an upcoming post soon for a really fantastic cocktail recipe made with Absinthe. I love that stuff.

Olive Oils from Sicily, Spain and Israel plus a Lemon Olive Oil Mousse

Funny how coincidences happen sometimes! Can you believe in a 2-day period I received 3 completely different bottles of exquisite Extra-Virgin Olive Oil? I have to admit I have never invested in expensive olive oils myself but all three were an eye opener. But for now I think I am set for a while. Each oil was very unique and each came from a different exotic location: Sicily, Spain and Israel.

To be fair, I will describe them a bit in the order I received them. I had a spoonful of each olive oil and appreciated it like a wine tasting, which is the basic, yet simple,  right way.

The first one I got was the Olive & Olives 8 Hojiblanca, a lovely olive oil from the Seville region of Spain. The the Phoenicians and the Greeks brought the Olive tree to Spain and every since then it has always been considered a high quality olive oil. But up to a few years back it was not a know fact internationally. This one is a wonderful example of a fruity olive oil. It is said to have fresh tomato aromas and a note of young artichoke. I am no expert so this comment goes a bit above my head, but it was light, fruity and wonderful for sure.

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The second bottle, the Mimo Ultra premium Olive Oil, came from a Sicilian friend of mine who has been promising me a bottle since Christmas. He told he was going to start exporting the olive oil his family makes. He assured me that the olives are hand picked by his aunts and uncles right on their ancestral land which they have had for over 150 years in Sicily. The Russa family cultivates and bottles pure unfiltered first press extra-virgin olive oil.

May the Roman Gods strike me down if I lie, this is the most phenomenal and incredible oil I have ever tasted in my life. I never thought an olive oil could taste like this. This may sound weird but if I had to describe the taste I would say it tastes like the whole olive tree. You taste the bark, the leaves, the olives, the pit. I had 3 friends look at me in with confusion when I said this but after tasting the olive oil they knew exactly what I meant. This one falls under the bitter flavor but in the world of olives it is considered a positive attribute because it is indicative of fresh olive fruit. The Mimo Olive Oil  is a limited production so order directly through the family.

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This last olive oil bottle, Teamim, was a gift from my friend Raquel who just got back from a trip to Israel. She surprised me with this gift indeed, I had not expected it. Describing this one is a bit more of a challenge as all the words on the bottle are in Hebrew, as is the company’s website. I do know it has one medals.  This one had a bit more of a grassy taste on top of the fruitiness but it was on par with the Spanish one.

Any of the above mentioned oils would be perfect for the following recipe. Yes, yes is is a dessert, a sweet and tangy treat. I am warning you it does have an olive oil taste, BUT it totallyworks.

Ξ Lemon Mousse with Olive Oil Ξ
recipe from Very Easy…Kitchen

Fine zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon and half
2 egg yolks and 3 egg whites
5 tablespoons of good olive oil
2 tablespoons of sweet honey
50 g powdered sugar

– In a saucepan, heat on low temperature the egg yolks with the lemon juice and blanched zest.

– When the mixture has thickened, which will not take very long, add olive oil and honey. Chill the mixture (you can prepare the day before).

– Prior to serving, beat your egg whites until stiff while incorporating the powdered sugar.

– Mix your egg whites with the lemon cream. You get an airy foam. Pour in 4 serving cups and garnish if you like. Serve immediately or keep no longer then one hour in the fridge or the mousse will slowly collapse.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil comes from virgin oil production only and contains no more than 0.8% acidity. No two olive oils are the same because, as with wine, the olives are influenced by the variety of the olives, weather, soil conditions, and harvesting. Just like wine, no two olive oils are created equal. One should keep extra-virgin oils for salads, cooked veggie, dressings, stews, drizzling over slices of crusty bread, baked potatoes and vinaigrettes.  Heating such an superior olive oil is considered an etiquette crime.