When you look at the ingredients of this salad, you will probably think, as I did, that it is too simple to be very exciting, but it is unbelievable the way the celery takes up the flavours and combines with the olives and mint, so that the whole things tastes really fresh and fantastic.
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3 cups good whole green olives in brine
about 6 celery stalks, with leaves if possible, all finely chopped
the leaves from about 10 to 12 stalks of mint, finely chopped
1 ounce plus 1 tablespoon dressing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Sicilian
For the salad, drain the olives and pat dry. With a sharp knife, make three or four cuts in each olive from end to end, then cut each segment away from the stone as carefully as you can. Put the pieces into a bowl and add the celery, the celery leaves and the mint leaves.
For the dressing, put the salt into a bowl, than add the vinegars and leave for a minute until the salt dissolves. Whisk in the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Pour into a clean bottle and store in the fridge up to 6 months. It will separate out again, but just shake it well before you use it.
Toss the salad with the dressing, season and serve.
From Giorgio Locatelli's Made in Sicily, published by HarperCollins.