Tag: Olive Oil

Condiments | Anchovy Sauce

The most famous anchovy sauce – Garum of the imperial Roman era and its modern variations Colatura di Alici and the Indo-Chinese sauces of Thailand and Vietnam – is an extract more than a sauce, whereas the Pissala / Pissalat of Nice is a contender for a genuine sauce, largely because it can be made in the home, unlike the filtered varieties.

The Italian caper and anchovy sauce – Salsa di Capperi e Acciughe – should qualify even if it is low on anchovies. The dressing known as Bagna Cauda in Italy and La Fondue Niçoise in France is too elaborate although it is high on anchovies. Not so the Anchoiade, a subtle blend of anchovy and oil!

Pissala / Pissalat

Used to season any number of traditional dishes in the Nice region, this anchovy sauce is associated with the flan and flatbread called pissaladiére.

  • 240 ml olive oil
  • 48 anchovy fillets
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 12 cloves, ground
  • 5 g salt
  • 12 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 bay leaves, ground

Mash the anchovies with a fork, place in a bowl with 45 millilitres of olive oil, a large pinch each of black pepper and salt plus the bay leaves, cloves and thyme. Beat into a sauce. Pour into a glass jar, store in the refrigerator.


Bagna Cauda / La Fondue Nicoise

Along from the Ligurian and Piedmont coast, in the azzure of the French Riviera, they call this dressing la fondue Niçoise, a little cheeky because the traditional ingredient is the salted anchovy of the Ligurian Sea! However, both the French and Italian versions are worth a try.

Whichever version this is a sauce used to dress sticks of celery and carrots, slices of artichokes, bulb fennel and fresh mushrooms, or pieces of any vegetable that demands a flavour shock!

The Italians suggest artichokes, cardons, carrots, endive, peppers and rape. Raw vegetables are preferred over cooked, albeit al dente, vegetables, except for new whole potatoes fully cooked.

The butter and milk can be omitted.

  • 300 ml olive oil
  • 150 g anchovy fillets / salted Ligurian Sea anchovy fillets
  • 90 ml milk (optional)
  • 60 g butter (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Choice of vegetables, lightly cooked or raw
  • Bread, for collecting the drips

Milk Method

Soak garlic in the milk for about two hours, strain milk and dry garlic. Using a small pot, over a low heat, gently fry the garlic in the butter. Add the oil and the anchovies. Simmer for 10 minutes until the anchovies have melted into the butter-oil-garlic mixure, and it has the consistency of sauce.

Dip choice of vegetable into the sauce, holding a piece of bread under the stick, slice or piece to collect the drips.

Oil Method

Using a small pot, over a very low heat cook the garlic in the olive oil, about half an hour. Add the anchovies and allow to melt gradually. Whisk a little and keep warm.

Dip choice of vegetable into the sauce, holding a piece of bread under the stick, slice or piece to collect the drips.

La Fondue Nicoise

  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 8 anchovy fillets
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced

Cook the garlic gently in the oil over low heat until it begins to soften, add the anchovies and let them slowly bind the sauce.


Anchoiade

Sauce

  • 100 g anchovies in oil
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 15 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Sauté anchovies over a low heat, add garlic, seasonings and vinegar. Cook until the mixture takes on a smooth consistency. Stir in the olive oil.

Vegetables

  • 1 cauliflower, florettes separated, sliced thin
  • 1 broccoli head, florettes separated, sliced thin
  • 4 small carrots, peeled, cut into thin strips
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thin
  • 4 artichokes, sliced thin
  • 4 endive, sliced thin
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 8 radishes, sliced thin

Place the vegetables in a large bowl, mix, pour anchovy mixture, serve with an egg for each diner.

Legendary Dishes | Fasoulia (haricot bean mash)

BALKANS

Paste and pureé made from beans with assorted savoury additions are part of the fabric of the Mediterranean basin’s food culture. This is the traditional Balkan version, simply made with haricot beans, garlic and onions. Rarely though is the recipe left unadorned. Herbs – parsley in particular, meat – pork in its various forms, spices – paprika for example – and vegetables – potatoes usually, are added to give flavour and texture.

  • 500 g haricot beans, soaked overnight
  • 500 g onion, sliced
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed, minced

Over a low heat lightly fry the onions in the olive oil until they take on colour at the edges. Boil the beans until they are tender, drain and while they are still warm spoon into a bowl, add the onions and their oil. The garlic can be added raw or lightly cooked at the end with the onions.

Legendary Dishes | Pissala / Pissalat (anchovy sauce)

FRANCE

Used to season any number of traditional dishes in the Nice region, this anchovy sauce is associated with the flan and flatbread called pissaladiére.

  • 240 ml olive oil
  • 48 anchovy fillets
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 12 cloves, ground
  • 5 g salt
  • 12 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 bay leaves, ground

Mash the anchovies with a fork, place in a bowl with 45 millilitres of olive oil, a large pinch each of black pepper and salt plus the bay leaves, cloves and thyme. Beat into a sauce. Pour into a glass jar, store in the refrigerator.

Legendary Dishes | Petits farcis Sardines et Thon (tomatoes stuffed with sardines and tuna)

Petits farcis Sardines et Thon FRANCE tomatoes stuffed with sardines and tuna

Traditionally these are made with the large tomatoes of southern France. Beef tomatoes are a good substitute, and one per person is not an absolute. The filling amounts are a guide, the volume of fish in cans varies from country to country. We have taken the liberty of adding an Italian touch to this very French dish by suggesting ricotta cheese instead of crème fraîche for the topping and a grating of parmigiano or pecorino as a dressing. The choice is yours.

4 large tomatoes, cored, pulp retained
250 g onions, chopped small
150 g ricotta cheese / crème fraîche

Canned sardines in oil, approximately
100 g
Canned tuna in oil
1 small long red pepper, chopped small
1 small zucchini / courgette, chopped small
45 ml olive oil
30 g hard cheese, grated, for garnish

2 garlic cloves
10 g black pepper, fresh ground
5 g salt
Rocket, for garnish

Boil onions for 20 minutes in salted water, drain and retain water to cook the zucchini for five minutes. Meanwhile sauté garlic in oil, add onions, tomato pulp and any liquid from the tomato and cook over a high heat until all the moisture has evaported, to leave a paste. Cool.

Mash tuna in own oil, add the paste, zucchini and seasonings.

Drain oil from sardines, mash with ricotta or crème fraîche.

Stuff tomatoes with tuna mixture. Heap creamed sardines on top. Use a fork to make peaks.

Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.

Garnish with a sprinkle of hard cheese. Serve with undressed rocket.


INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS =  Olive Oil | Red Peppers | Sardines | Tomatoes | Tuna | Zucchini (Courgette)

LEGENDARY DISHES


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Legendary Dishes | Thalassiná Piláfi (seafood pilaf)

GREECE
  • 750 ml water
  • 500 g long grain rice, washed, drained
  • 300 g squid, whole
  • 12 prawns, whole
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100 g onion, chopped
  • 100 ml Retsina wine
  • 100 g tomato, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 40 small shrimp
  • 20 mussels, cooked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • Saffron, very large pinch
  • Seasonings

Heat the water and blanch the squid for five minutes, drain, cool and cut into small pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot, add onions, stir for a couple of minutes, add squid and cook for two minutes. Add rice, cooking water, wine, lemon juice, saffron and seasonings, bring to the boil, remove from heat, cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add mussels, prawns, peppers and tomatoes, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes. Grill the prawns in their shells. Serve the pilaf garnished with the prawns.


INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS =  Lemons | Mussels | Olive Oil | Onions | Prawns | Retsina Wine | Shrimp | Squid

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Legendary Dishes | Pizza (topped flatbread)

Pizza ITALY topped flatbread

In old Napoli around the corner from the porn cinema off the Piazza Garibaldi, a crowd stands in an alleyway. Clouds of smoke and steam drift like competing phantoms in the sultry evening air. At a window in the wall men in stained white uniforms exchange rounds of folded bread for folded note. Boys and girls, old and young men tear at the thick bread, revealing tomato, mozzarella, basil and an aroma that is enticing and intriguing. It is a daily activity, and the pizzaioli who make these red, white and green pizzas of legend never seem to stop or take a break. The not so humble pizza is an old fast food, arguably one of Europe’s most loved. Rarely made in the home without a pizza oven, those who know what they are doing produce pizza to die for. Why else would you want to see Naples.

  • 250 g 00 flour
  • 350 ml water
  • 250 g strong white flour
  • 225 g biga
  • 25 g olive oil
  • 15 g yeast
  • 1 tsp salt

Activate yeast in 50ml of lukewarm water, add to flour and salt in a large bowl, the remainder of the water and mix with a wooden spoon.

Gradually add the biga in small pieces, mixing with the spoon.

Finally drizzle in the olive oil, using the spoon to bring the ingredients together.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Begin kneading, about 25-30 minutes.

Leave to rise for two hours, degas once.

Dough temperature should be 23-24°C.

Divide dough into desired sizes, roll out and leave for 20-25 minutes while preparing the classic pizza topping, the Margherita of 19th century Italian legend.

Bake in the hottest oven you can find, about eight to ten minutes.

The days when this pizza was topped with tinned plum tomatoes and sheep’s cheese with a hint of mozzarella are long gone from serious trattoria. Nowadays the topping is likely to be San Marzano tomatoes squeezed and stretched over the dough, dotted with pieces of mozzarella.

If you are lucky you might get more olive oil and one or two basil leaves to complete the picture.


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