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Dec 18, 2007 03:58 PM

New Orleans Style Italian Salad [split from New Orleans]

(Note: This recipe was split from the New Orleans board at : -- The Chowhound Team).

New Orleans-Style Italian Salad “Wop Salad”

Serves: 8

This dish is a longtime favorite on Creole-Italian menus across the city. It is an example of the use of, the term "wop" which could be considered an ethnic slur. However, nobody in New Orleans, least of all Italians, seemed to mind the term at least as applied to this dish, which would probably still be on restaurant menus under its old name if it weren't for out-of-towners who were kind enough to point out that this is, in fact, an ethnic slur.

Ingredients: Salad:

• 8 cups crisp lettuce of assorted types (should include romaine), torn into bite-sized pieces
• 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
• 1-2 cups muffuletta olive salad
• 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 8 pepperoncini peppers
• 16 flat anchovies
• 8 large boiled shrimp, peeled
• 8 large white or green asparagus spears, steamed and chilled
• - freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese

Ingredients: Dressing:

• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
• ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
• 1 Tablespoon mixed Italian seasoning herbs
• 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Combine lettuces, olive salad, tomatoes and dressing in a large bowl, toss well.
2. Divide evenly on 8 salad plates.
3. On each plate, make an "x" with two anchovies on top of each mixed salad.
4. Top with one asparagus spear and a boiled shrimp.
5. Make sure each plate has some tomatoes and plenty of the vegetables (including a pepperoncini) from the olive salad.
6. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

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  1. Muffuletta Olive Salad

    As served at the Central Grocery, New Orleans, LA


    • 1½ cups large pimento stuffed green olives, slightly crushed and well drained
    • ½ cup Calamatta Olives (or Black) Pitted
    • 1 cup Gardiniera (pickled cauliflower, pepperoncini) drained and sliced
    • 1 Tablespoon capers, drained
    • 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
    • ⅛ cup celery, thinly sliced diagonally
    • ⅛ cup carrots, peeled, thinly sliced diagonally
    • 1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
    • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons. dried
    • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
    • ¼ cup pimientos
    • 1 Tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced
    • ¼ cup cocktail onions, drained
    • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Kosher salt (salt may not be necessary)
    • - ground pepper to taste


    1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well.
    2. Place in a large jar and cover with ½ olive oil and ½ vegetable oil.
    3. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.
    4. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours before using

    1. Thank you for reminding me what was in that great salad. Always loved it growing up in NOLA. Nobody knew "that" was a bad word. It was on the menu at every Italian restaurant in town and most others too.
      I miss that wonderful salad. I have olive salad and anchovies in the fridge right now. Think I'll make it this weekend. What are we supposed to call it now?

      3 Replies
      1. re: MakingSense

        I've seen it on the menu as "New Orleans Italian Salad", but we know what they mean. (wink, wink)

        1. re: MakingSense

          Personally, I still call it WOP salad.
          No one in N.O. minds. We don't even have a thought about it being a derogatory term, because to us, it's NOT. It's just a name of a salad.
          If I went out of town, I would not call it a wop salad - only because we now know some might take offense. Part of the joy & pleasure of living in N.O.

          Just a note, our WOP salads never had shrimp on them.
          Your version looks very tasty!

          1. re: Isabella

            Thank you Isabella for the kind works. We only put shrimp and asparagus in the salad when we were "puttin; on the airs" for company. But I love those chilled asparagus.