Mediterranean Green Olive Salad Dressing is loaded with tangy flavor. This rustic vegan sauce is simple to make with garlic, lemon, and parsley. For a simple meal, try it tossed with chickpeas and cherry tomatoes. Or serve it with your favorite lettuce and crusty bread. If you love olives, it’s sure to become a favorite recipe.
What’s the difference between black and green olives?
When I was little, I was one of those kids who adored black olives.
At Thanksgiving when my mom put out a bowl with the appetizers, I would quickly grab 10 and place one on each finger.
But not surprisingly, at that age I hadn’t yet discovered my love for green olives or this green olive salad dressing.
It wasn’t until I was older and visited Spain that I learned to appreciate the more bitter green ones.
There it’s common to be given a bowl of fruity olives to enjoy with your beverage, similar to how edamame is served with beer in Japanese restaurants.
I also didn’t realize that black and green olives grow on the same trees.
In fact, the difference in color has to do with when the olives are picked before they are cured, not their variety.
The black ones are fully ripe while the green ones aren’t.
If you’re interested in learning more about olives, check out What’s The Difference Between Black And Green Olives, Anyway?
And now that I’m older, I’ve never met an olive I didn’t like.
In addition, this Mediterranean Green Olive Salad Dressing makes a regular appearance on my table.
Green Olive Salad
Rather than olives being a topping in this salad, they are roughly chopped and turned into a dressing.
Then the rest of the salad is comprised of whatever components you like.
For example, you can serve this green olive salad dressing on your favorite lettuce.
Or you can toss in chickpeas and cherry tomatoes like I did in the photos above.
It’s also fantastic as a dipping sauce for warm slices of crusty baguette.
How to make the dressing
You will need the following ingredients for this chunky vinaigrette:
- Green olives (I use the ones stuffed with pimientos, which are sweet red cherry peppers.)
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper (optional)
I like to the make the olive dressing directly in the bottom of the salad bowl.
- First add the coarsely chopped olives, minced garlic, chopped parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil to the bowl.
- Then give everything a stir to combine. You can use a fork for this.
- Give the mixture a taste, then add salt and pepper, if desired.
Finally it’s time to add your salad to the rustic dressing.
I love the combination of briny olives, mild beans, and sweet tomatoes, but feel free to experiment with your favorite ingredients.
If you don’t want to use all of the green olive salad dressing right away, cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
Other serving suggestions
This dressing is very versatile and can be used for a lot more that just salads.
For example, you can think of it as a Mediterranean salsa and pour it over grilled vegetable kebabs.
Or serve it on baked tofu steaks.
Green olive salad dressing is also fantastic drizzled over potatoes, rice, or your favorite grain.
Green Olive Salad Dressing
This recipe makes 4 servings but you can easily make more or less to suit your needs.
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Mediterranean Green Olive Salad Dressing
For serving (optional):
- 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 can chickpeas, (15 ounces) 1 ½ cups, rinsed and drained
- baby arugula
- Combine the chopped green olives, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil in a salad bowl.
- Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and chickpeas to the dressing in the salad bowl. Toss well to coat. Serve over a bed of baby arugula.