Revive a retro classic: Egg and olive salad

Julie Falsetti
For The York Dispatch

In bygone times, before fast food and take-out, people ate lunch at home or took a packed lunch to work. My father preferred a hearty sandwich with meat on buttered bread. With a large thermos of coffee and a Tastykake, he was set for the day.

Never being much of a meat eater, my mother favored a different lunch sandwich: egg and olive salad on toast. She always said it quickly, so as a child egg ’n olive seemed like the only possible combination.

In the 1950s, eggs had not yet been vilified and then rehabilitated. They were still thought to be the perfect food, and people had no qualms about eating them on a daily basis. Every house had a dish for deviled eggs and a set of egg cups for soft boiled eggs.

At its simplest, egg and olive salad is two ingredients mixed with mayonnaise. The briny taste of the olives complements the blandness of the eggs. The traditional recipe always uses pimento stuffed olives, which add a bit of sweetness and a splash of color.

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Unlike the deli version of the salad, both the eggs and olives are roughly chopped, giving it both body and visual appeal.

When making egg and olive salad, don’t feel constrained by a recipe. I like to add a bit of chopped celery for crunch and some scallions for a little zip. A dash of celery seed would not be amiss, either.

The avocado toast fad has come and gone. Now is the time for this retro classic to make a comeback for the next generation to enjoy.

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Egg and olive salad is a retro classic just waiting for a comeback. (Julie Falsetti photo for The York Dispatch)

Egg ’n Olive Salad

  • 4 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives stuffed with pimento
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size bowl, roughly chop the hard boiled eggs. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.

— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks. Her column, From Scratch, runs twice monthly in The York Dispatch food section. Reach her with questions and comments at