Thursday, September 20, 2012

Antipasto and Peach Sucking.

The chance to win Allyson Kramer's Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats is still alive, kickin' and breathing red hot sorghum flour.  Since a winner won't be chosen until Tuesday morning, you'd best parade yourself over to the review for a chance to win and grow your xgfx brains real big.
Caprese salad with tiny fresh cashew mozzarella balls from Artisan Vegan Cheese.
When I scrunch my eyebrows real good, I can remember a few things mom used to make for us back in the day.  One of my favorites is the antipasto madness she'd sometimes whip together for a special occasion.  I loved the ritual involved in arranging all of the appetizers on a giant platter and then dabbling around the platter snacking on whatever I thought looked yummy.

The antipasto producing bug has since been passed onto me, and every now and again, I'll make this for friends, too.  It's actually a great dish for company since it's easy to prepare ahead, makes for good chattin' food and translates well into xgfx-land.

Nibbles 'n' noshes.
Last weekend, I decided to make a bunch of stuff for some visiting out of town friends.  My spread wasn't quite as fancy as I remember my mom's, but I made up for it in vegan cheese.

We had more cheese from Artisan Vegan Cheese, my family's caponata recipe (ours is from an old family friend, no idea of the original source), marinated artichoke hearts, black bread, pepperoni balls, olives, a fancy caprese salad and drinks.

Along with the air-dried gouda and fresh mozzarella balls in the caprese salad, we also tasted smears of pub cheddar.  Miyoko is pretty smart.
The fun is all in the details, don'tcha think?  If you're inspired and wanna see more ideas, check out this little page I wrote on PakuPaku a million moons ago.

❤ Caprese Salad--homegrown tomatoes and basil nested amongst fresh cashew mozzarella balls, drizzled with a basil and garlic infused olive oil, then seasoned with salt 'n' pepper.

❤ Pepperoni Balls--TVP based balls seasoned with yellow mustard seed, fennel, red pepper flakes, garlic, smoked paprika and black peppercorns.

❤ Marinated Artichoke Hearts--canned artichoke hearts quartered and marinated in lemon juice, zest, S&P and EVOO.

❤ Black Bread--From Jennifer Katzinger's Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread.  The recipes in this book are insane and good.  Full review coming in late October.  Sorry to be such a xgfx dick-tease.

❤ Caponata--recipe below!

❤ Olives--We had all sorts including a new favorite--green olives stuffed with whole almonds. 

Caponata is one of the easiest dishes to make, once you gather everything you need.  It's also perfect for anyone who has a fear of undercooked eggplant, since the eggplant has no choice but to soften into a smooth buttery texture under the weight of olive oil and lots of steaming.  I like to eat this in a bowl with a fork, but dear Kim will only eat it with scooping tools like bread or crackers.
Makes a Big Bowlful.
What You Need:
  • 1 large globe eggplant, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unbleached granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed green olives, sliced
What You Do:
  1. In a medium large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the eggplant, onion, red pepper, mushrooms, garlic and olive oil.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes stirring often to prevent sticking.
  2. Then add everything else and stir well.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for an additional 25 minutes, stirring often to make sure nothing's scorching.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve room temperature, or chill and eat cold.
Now you have the know-how to antipasto with the best of 'em.  Those Food Network stars can go suck a peach.

xo
kittee

16 comments:

  1. YUM!! I'm making that mozzarella from AVC this week! I plan to make Caprese sandwiches with it. It looks soooo good. I've been missing buffalo mozzarella for years. The gouda looks, um, GOUDA! Ha ha!! Sorry. I couldn't resist! Anyway, lovely post!

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    1. Have fun playing with the recipes, they're really great. I've never had dairy buffalo mozz, but the taste and texture of the cashew balls are faboooOOo.

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  2. Now I'm so mad at myself for buying all the mozzarella ingredients then not making it. Bah. Got to keep one of the eggplants off the grill so I can make caponata. And invite people over for antipasto. Super photos.

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    1. Thanks Andrea! Let me know if you make some, I ate it for breakfast and lunch all week. It makes a lot.

      xo
      kittee

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  3. Oh, I love appetizer plates! A little nibble of this, a little nibble of that makes for a very satisfying meal! I'm especially intrigued by the pepperoni balls. They sound super delicious!

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    1. They are basically the balls from PTLEF but with pepperoni spices. I'd be glad to email it to you if you want! I modify it and use it in Pho a bunch, too.

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  4. Beautiful as always! I'm a huge fan of the antipasto-style everything-platter, too! My favourite way to make party food, and one of my favourite ways to eat... and damn, that cashew cheese looks killer.

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    1. Thank you! I just finished a juice fast after um... a LOT of cashew cheese and bread. And not a lot else, for many days. I feel better!

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  5. Kittee, I love your blog. So colorful, fun, and unique. Your "feet shots" are great! And thanks for making and reviewing my cheeses!

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  6. This looks amazing. I've never heard of this meal!

    I'm new to loving eggplant, and I'm also afraid of undercooked eggplant!

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    1. Never heard of antipasto?? It just means "before pasta" in Italian. So small courses before the big meal--like appetizers.

      xo
      kittee

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    2. No, I hadn't heard of caponata. :)

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  7. I found this recipe via Vegansaurus and it looks AMAZING! Do you have any recommendations for replacing the mushrooms? Or can I just omit them? I have a slight fear of them.

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    1. Hi Nikki!
      It's a pound of mushrooms! Not sure what you could put in there that would be the same, but they cook down a lot. They add a great texture!

      xo
      kitte

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