cucumber celery olive odyssey salad

cucumber celery olive odyssey salad

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Thanks to Dole Sunshine for partnering with me on this cucumber celery olive odyssey salad recipe! I am the creator of this recipe and for the description and information that follows. For a full disclosure, click here!

I know what you’re probably thinking now. Why does Ally call this recipe cucumber celery olive odyssey salad? I suppose the reason is that I stumbled upon some intriguing information when researching celery. Now, food to me is a way to relate to history, and, in this case, literature.

Celery Origins for Celery Salad

There is a ‘somewhat’ history to this celery salad! Do you remember Homer’s Odyssey. Yep, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer way back when. Scholars believe it was composed sometime in 8 B.C. Odysseus, the Greek hero, had a long journey back home. And, it was quite a feat to even begin the journey because he was captured and held captive by the seductive and beautiful nymph Calypso, who was addicted to love for him. She had him imprisoned on her island, Ogvgia.

Now back to this calypso’s cave celery cuke olive salad. Just stick with me. It’s going to make sense why I named it this. So, Odysseus gets the help of Zeus who sends Hermes to rescue him from Calypso. Homer describes what Hermes sees when he arrives at Calypso:

“He (Hermes) found her (Calypso) at home. There was a large fire burning on the hearth. One could smell from afar the fragrant odor of burning cedar and sandal wood. As for herself, Calypso was busy at her loom, shooting her golden shuttle through the warp and singing beautifully. Round her cave was a thick wood of alder, poplar, and sweet smelling cypress trees. Therein were all kinds of great birds which had built their nests – owls, hawks, and chattering sea gulls whose business is in the waters. A vine loaded with grapes was trained and grew luxuriantly about the mouth of the cave. There were also four running rills of water in channels cut pretty close together. They were turned hither and thither to irrigate the beds of violets and luscious herbage, including wild celery over which they flowed. Even a god could not help being charmed with such a lovely spot. So, Hermes stood motionless and looked at it. When he had admired it sufficiently, he went inside the cave.”

Well, Hermes finally persuades Calypso to let Odysses build a ship and leave. But, his troubles and arduous adventures weren’t over. Actually, it took him ten years to return to Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. And, there’s a happy ending.

As you see, the very first mention of ‘celery’ is believed to be by Homer in 8 B.C. Pretty cool, I think. And, this celery salad is kind of like Odysseus’s journey. It’s full of unexpected tastes, flavors, textures, and in the end there is a happy ending for your palate!

PS: There’s one ingredient that’s ‘optional’…you decide to put it in or leave it out! xoxo ~ally


celery salad

cucumber celery olive odyssey salad

Yield: 8+ hungry folks


  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbl. olive oil, divided
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 tsp. harissa, dry
  • 2 ½ cups mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 ½ cups celery, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced in thin rounds (I used multi-colored heirloom carrots for vibrancy.)
  • ½ cup red onions, sliced in about 2” thin pieces
  • ½ cup green olives, with pimentos, sliced
  • ½ cup Dole Sunshine dates, diced
  • 3 green onions, with greens, sliced
  • 1/4 cup radishes, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 3 Tbl. fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • ½ cup fresh basil, packed, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 2 medium lemons, juice


  • In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, put the one-fourth cup oil, beans and harissa. Blend and cook about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover.
  • In a large mixing salad bowl, combine the cucumbers, celery, carrots, onions, radishes, olives, dates, green onions thyme and basil. Toss and blend.
  • Add the garbanzo beans and use a rubber spatula to scrape out all the oil and spice mixture.
  • Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Toss and blend. Refrigerate about an hour before serving.


This salad keeps well for a couple of days.

It's becomes a 'new' salad with chopped grilled chicken!

For extra boosts of juicy fruitiness, try adding another one of Dole Sunshine product like slivers of pineapple, diced peaches, or blueberries. Jut this one small simple change can create a new explosion of flavors for you! OR, serve small bowls of these delicious fruits alongside the salad and offer as extra 'toppings'! Oh, so unusual!

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celery salad


  1. I’m just dying to try this salad, Ally… I love the idea of doing something so unique with celery! YUM!

  2. This has my name written all over it!

  3. Colorful, Crisp, Refreshing, YES!

  4. This sounds like a tasty combination, great on so many occasions.

  5. I love everything about this salad!

  6. This sounds so light and refreshing!

  7. Love dishes that make it so easy to be healthy! I would add some chicken to this and be in a happy place!

  8. So much crunch! This looks like the perfect salad to go with just about anything!

  9. Wow… I’m craving all the flavors and crunch in this beautiful salad of yours, Ally! Love it!

    • Michele! Knowing your amazing talents and what you create w/food, I’m thinking this is right up your alley!! Thank you, luv! xox

  10. So healthily delicious, I’d love me a bowlful for supper ♥

  11. Enjoyed reading your post, Ally!I didn’t know that the very first mention of ‘celery’ was by Homer in 8 B.C! That’s something new to me! The salad sounds so flavorful! Pinning to try later!!

    • Hadia! Thank you! I love weaving in the history of food. It’s just so intriguing. Thanks for swinging by and for pinning, luv! xo

  12. Christine @ Christine's Pantry

    Love this. Perfect for a blazin hot day. 110 degrees in the shade today.

    • Oh oh Christine! I feel so bad for you. I’m in CO mountains and it’s ‘warm’ and divine. This salad would be full of good refreshing hydration, too! Thanks for swinging by! xo

  13. Christine @ Christine's Pantry

    Love this salad. Perfect for a blazin hot day. 110 degrees today in the shade.

  14. this would be perfect on a hot day! love salads here in Florida!

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