My Italian friend Paola is a wonderful cook. A meal in her home is always a special treat. So when she offered to make an appetizer for a dinner at our house, I knew it would be something delicious. But I nearly flipped when I saw this incredible platter of delectable antipasti. Needless to say, there was little left at the end of the evening.
Left to Right
Figs wrapped in prosciutto
- on a baking sheet, cut figs in half and wrap with a thin slice of prosciutto. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle fresh pepper and roast in a 450F oven until the prosciutto is crisp, 8-12 minutes. If the figs are not very sweet, add a tsp. of Trader Joe's Fig Butter to each halve before wrapping and roasting.
- A Ligurian specialty made with ingredients available to the area..chickpea flour, water, salt, olive oil and herbs.
Caponata- see recipe below
is a sweet and sour Sicilian eggplant dish, best served at room temperature. See recipe below.
- a thin cracker made from regular bread dough and seasoned with fresh herbs.
- small fresh mozzarella marinated in olive oil and fresh herbs are in the center.
Caponata Siciliana (recipe)
1 large eggplant unpeeled, cut into a medium dice or see *** below
3 med tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3T. golden raisins
1-1/2 T. capers
1/3-1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1 yellow onion, diced
3 T. balsamic vinegar
3T. tomato paste
Salt, pepper to taste
In a fry pan, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add celery and sauté lightly. Transfer both to a stock pot. Sauté the diced eggplant until nicely browned, but not burned, or *** you can also grill the eggplant, in which case you should slice it into rounds, brush with olive oil and grill. When cool, dice and add to stock pot. Add remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, partially covered for about 20 minutes. Celery should still have some crunch. If too watery, continue cooking another 5 minutes, uncovered. Taste for seasonings. Allow to cool. Best served the next day.
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