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The Mediterranean Pantry includes recipes for unusual and familiar condiments--preserves, flavored oils and...
The Mediterranean Pantry includes recipes for unusual and familiar condiments--preserves, flavored oils and vinegars, liqueurs, and spices using these products. Preserve colorful red, yellow, and green bell peppers in olive oil during the height of the season, and serve a tasty pasta sauce months later that you can make in minutes chopping the peppers and mixing with roasted garlic and olive oil. Or make a tart green tomato and mint relish before the first frost and enjoy it with roast lamb on a cold winter night. The Mediterranean Pantry will help you infuse sunny Mediterranean flavors into meals all years long.
This delicious collection includes recipes for Preserved Lemons, Green Olives with Harissa and Orange, Green Fig Preserves, Fried Artichoke with Garlic in Olive Oil, Olive Oil with Truffles, and many other items with which to stock your pantry shelves. Many recipes are as simple as mixing several ingredients, with little or no cooking. In addition, a detailed list of mail-order sources ensures that even the most exotic ingredients will be available to all.
Drawing on customs that extend back to ancient times, Aglaia Kremezi explores traditional seasonings and preserved foods from around the Mediterranean. She presents 70 recipes from Italy, Spain, Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean, and North Africa that incorporate distinctive herbs, spices, and flavorings. Full-color photos demonstrate how to make these simple recipes.
Garum, also called liquamen, was the favorite sauce of both the ancient Greeks and Romans--as ubiquitous in those days as ketchup is today. It was made form small fish and fish guts that were left to macerate in the sun with salt, vinegar, and spices. This strong sauce was used to flavor all kinds of foods, including vegetables, dried beans, meat, and fish.
It is believed that the anchovy sauces we encounter today in the south of Italy, and especially in Sicily, have their roots in this ancient sauce, as does the old English standby, Worcestershire.
Use Olive Oil with Anchovies and Chili Peppers to dress tomato salads and steamed or grilled vegetables. It is particularly good with steamed cauliflower and broccoli.
4 anchovy fillets in olive oil
1 fresh chili pepper, bruised
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Drain the anchovies and pat dry with paper towels.
Chop 1 of the anchovies and place it in a clean and absolutely dry 2-cup bottle. Add the whole anchovies and the bruised chili pepper. Fill the bottle with the olive oil, cover, and let stand in a dark place for a week, shaking from time to time, before using.
Olive Oil with Anchovies and Chili Peppers will keep for 3 to 6 months stored in a cool, dark place.
Makes 2 cups.
Pasta with Olive Oil, Anchovies, and Fennel
This sauce is best on bucatini (or perciatelli), a factory-made pasta that looks like thick spaghetti but has a hollow core.
2 fennel bulbs, 1 sliced and 1 chopped
1 pound bucatini, perciatilli, or spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup chopped fresh wild fennel or fennel tops
2 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/3 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup Olive Oil with Anchovies and Chili Peppers (previous page)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the sliced fennel bulb and the bucatini and cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, in a large, nonreactive, heavy skillet. Add the chopped fennel bulb and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, half of the wild fennel, the chopped anchovies, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the greens are tender.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking liquid. Chop the boiled fennel and add it to the sauce along with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and the drained pasta. Drizzle with the Olive Oil with Anchovies and Chili Peppers. Add the remaining chopped fennel and toss well. Taste, adjust the seasonings, and serve at once.
Serves 4 to 6.
Fried Artichokes with Garlic in Olive Oil
Spring is artichoke season around the Mediterranean, but artichokes are so popular that we try to preserve them to eat throughout the year. Small artichokes are commonly preserved in brine, but I have my own way of preserving fried artichokes in olive oil, then serving them as an appetizer or in artichoke omelets.
Don't be frightened by the amount of virgin olive oil called for in this recipe. It is not wasted because you can use it in salad dressings when you have finished eating the artichokes. Or you can heat it with additional chopped garlic and some chopped chili pepper and capers, then toss with freshly cooked pasta, sprinkle with chopped parsley or dill, and serve. The garlic and capers give this oil a delicious flavor.
2 large lemons
7 medium artichokes (2 1/2 inches in diameter; see Note)
Olive Oil, for frying
Flour, for dredging
Sea salt to taste
3-4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed in cold water and drained well on paper towels
1 dried mild chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 - 2 cups virgin olive oil
Prepare the artichokes. Pour about 1 quart water into a bowl and add the juice of 1 lemon. Cut off the hard outer leaves of one artichoke, then keep snapping off leaves until you are left with a soft cone formed by the light green inner leaves and the heart.
Cut the second lemon in half and rub the cut surfaces of the artichoke to prevent discoloration. Trim the green top of the cone and remove the choke with a teaspoon. Halve the artichoke lengthwise and, after rubbing the cut surface with lemon, place it in a bowl of lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a frying pan. Dredge artichokes in flour. Shake well to get rid of the excess flour, then fry the pieces in the oil until soft, about 3 minutes, turning once. Place on paper towels to drain, then salt lightly. Discard the frying oil, wipe the frying pan with paper towels, and add 2 tablespoons fresh olive oil. Crush the garlic cloves and saute for 30 seconds in the oil. Remove from the heat.
Pack the artichokes, garlic and its oil, caper s, and chili pepper in a 3-cup glass jar. Cover completely with virgin olive oil. Let cool, the refrigerate.
Fried Artichokes with Garlic in Olive oil will keep for 4 to 5 weeks. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature, then sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.
Makes 3 cups.
NOTE: If you can only find large artichokes, you can quarter them.
Excerpted from The Mediterranean Pantry. Copyright (c) 1994 by Aglaia Kremezi. Reprinted with permission by Artisan.