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Mediterranean Excellence: Antipasto Recipe

7/10/2009 9:52:18 AM

Tags: Recipes, Italy, Mediterranean, Cuisine, Genovese, Health, Antipasto, Olives


I don’t know if olives can be considered a condiment, but I sure use them like one. They come second only to salt as my preferred meal additive. Not only are olives tasty but they’re a staple of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. I put them on almost everything I eat from burgers to eggs.

That’s why I love antipasto, the ever-present appetizer at Genovese, which is a locally owned Italian restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, and one of my favorite places to eat. A bowl filled with olives and other veggies coated in a white vinaigrette is always within reach. I can make an entire meal out of a little dish filled with this antipasto and some of their rosemary flatbread.

Although I’ll probably never make this at home, as I don’t have the culinary skills, I asked Genovese’s executive chef and co-owner, Armando Paniagua for his recipe. I was amazed at how many different fresh, herbal ingredients are in this seemingly simple appetizer.

Photo by Ariel Tilson

Genovese’s Antipasto

Serves 1 to 2

Vinaigrette Ingredients

• 3 cups white vinegar
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 whole star anise
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon peppercorn
• ½ tablespoon whole allspice
• Chile flakes to taste

Vegetable Ingredients

• ½ cup diced carrots
• ½ cup diced green beans
• ½ cup diced fennel

Remaining Ingredients

• 3 cups olives, any kind you like
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Fresh rosemary to taste
• Lemon zest from one lemon

1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in medium pot and bring to boil. Add vegetable ingredients to pot; cover and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Put pot in ice water to cool. Once it’s cooled, drain the vegetables and add olives, olive oil, rosemary and lemon zest.

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