Mixed Olive & Date Salsa

Mixed Olive and Date Salsa
Photo by Susie Cushner

Sweet, salty and earthy come together in this rustic pork chop topping. Simple to prepare and complex in character, this salsa will add unexpected layers of flavor to your dish. Pairing calls for a nicely acidic Mediterranean wine that smoothly navigates the brininess of the olives without overpowering or being muted by the pronounced flavors of the meal.

Grilled Pork Chops Spiced Up Three Ways
  • ¾ cup mixed olives (pitted)
  • 6 dates (pitted)
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Tear or chop pitted olives and dates. Roughly chop flat-leaf parsley and walnuts as well. In small bowl, combine olives, dates, parsley, walnuts and lemon juice. Rub chops with extra-virgin olive oil, season with kosher salt and teaspoon black pepper. Cook chops according to instructions. Top chops with salsa and serve.

Pair It

A little sweet, a little nutty and a lot briny, this salsa threatens to overpower a lot of wines. Liz Martinez, sommelier and beverage director of Chicago’s Purple Pig, recommends Alliata’s 2014 Lorlando Nero d’Avola (Terre Siciliane) from Sicily, which draws on the salsa’s Mediterranean influences. “Nero d’Avola is such a great grape to pair with food,” she says. “The prickly tannins in this wine help to maneuver the boldly flavored salsa, while the sleek acid plays along nicely with brininess from the olives.”

Published on January 26, 2017