OK, my friends … so I shared this on my stories a few weeks ago on Instagram and so many of you asked for the recipe and today I’m happy to be sharing it with you all. I made this while I was over in Mexico a few months ago in a cooking class. I knew immediately it was something I wanted to make time and time again whenever the opportunity arose. It isn’t the kind of appetizer/finger food you want to make for a small group of people but more like community tapas. Best eaten informally, standing in the kitchen, before dinner is served or sitting around a coffee table. Serve without plates or silverware, scooped up by warm bread with your hands. So yummy and gooey and oh so delicious. Enjoy!

olive salad

Serves 8-10

5.0 from 2 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Once the ingredients are assembled, this dish will be ready to eat in less than 10 minutes
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 head garlic cut in half
  • 1 fresh Serrano chile cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 pints assorted PITTED olives such as kalamata. picholine, garlic, black Greek etc. Just have a variety of colors and flavors
  • 1½ cups Marconi almonds or whole blanked skinless almonds (I find the Marcona almonds in the fine cheese section at Whole Foods)
  • 2 small jars prepared artichoke hearts with their oil
  • 1 tbsp good red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz. Ciliegine (cherry tomato) size fresh mozzarella cheese, drained, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. manchego cheese, cut into ½" cubes
  • 4 oz. gruyere or similar textured cheese, cut into ½" cubes
  • 1 basket cherry red tomatoes
  • 1 head belgian endive leaves spread, then cut in half (you can leave this out if you want)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Zest of one lemon
  1. In a small saucepan, fry the peeled garlic cloves in the canola oil until they are golden brown, stirring often, about 5 mins. Strain the cloves out and trans them to a paper towel. Reserve the garlic oil.
  2. Heat a 14" frying pan over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the garlic oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place half of the garlic you cut in half, cut side down into the pan and sear for 3-4 minutes, add the chile halves and continue to sizzle the chiles until brown. DO NOT BURN
  3. Add the olives and the almonds and continue to cook until they are hot all the way through. 3-4 minutes or more, tossing often.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes, the artichoke hearts, and all of their pink and cook for another minute or two, stirring continuously until the tomatoes are hot all the way through and begin to burst. Add the vinegar and lemon zest and stir well.
  5. Add the hard cheeses and continue to toss until they begin to melt.
  6. Remover from the heat and add mozzarella balls all at once. Stirring and tossing well.
  7. Stir in the parsley and basil and endive with a bit of black pepper.
  8. Turn it all into a large serving platter and serve IMMEDIATELY with rustic bread,


Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  


  1. 8.10.19
    Karen said:

    You should literally have your own cooking show on the food network or cook book!! Girl with many talents!!

    • 9.27.19
      therusticlife said:

      Just now seeing this! I get this a lot, so many ideas in my head. Maybe one day XO

  2. 8.11.19
    Trecia said:

    Miss sandra…..this is absolutely beautiful and I just happen to love everything in this dish.Awww 😋…look at that roasted garlic.

    • 9.27.19
      therusticlife said:

      I’m sorry I’m just now seeing this! I hope you give this recipe a try … it’s absolutely delish!