Aceitunas, Tomates Secos al Sol, y Morrones Rojos Asados en Marinada.
As I have mentioned a few times before, it’s not surprising to see a few antipasto appetizers offered to those who need to calm their hunger pangs until the time comes to serve meat at an asado. Hard salami, artisanal cheese loaded with black peppercorns or ají molido, and pickled artichoke hearts are just a few. Pickled, brined, or marinated fruits and vegetables may even show up on the table to accompany the succulent meats. Their tart and salty flavors serve as a refreshing break from the constant flow of meat, offal, and sausage.
Here is a dish that excites the senses and works well for either occasion. Briny olives, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and sweet roasted red peppers are infused with the tart flavors of citrus fruits along with a light piquancy punch from garlic. (I’ll have to share a delicious berenjena en escabeche (pickled eggplant) recipe one of these days too.)
2/3 lb. non-pitted brined green olives; drained
1 medium red bell pepper; roasted, skinned & seeded; sliced into small strips
8-10 sun-dried tomatoes halves (dried, not packed in liquid)
1 clove garlic; sliced into thin slivers
1 teaspoon oregano
Citrus marinade (see below)
For roasting red peppers, read here.
In a heat-resistant bowl, add sun-dried tomatoes and cover with boiling water. After 3-4 minutes, when tender, drain and allow to cool. If any pieces are much larger than the rest, slice them in half length-wise.
Add all of the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, including marinade, and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least a day–stir mixture around a few times during that period. An hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature. If you are pressed for time, say an asado or party is just a few hours away, prepare and allow it to sit covered at room temperature until then.
Serve the main ingredients in a separate dish with some of the marinade. Make sure to include the bits of zest and garlic. Use the remaining marinade later as a salad dressing or to marinate meats.
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Juice from one medium-size lemon
Juice from one small orange
1 teaspoon each of lemon and orange zest, grated into strips
*You can swap the sunflower oil with olive oil but I prefer a neutral-flavored oil so as not to interfere with the other flavors.
Lemons and oranges come in all different sizes so ideally it is better using measurements when including their juices in most recipes. However, I apply a particular method to this recipe that is easy to follow and the end result is usually the same. Grate the zest from both fruits until you have one generous teaspoon from each fruit. Into a measuring cup add the freshly squeezed juice from the lemon and orange. Add vinegar. Note the measurement and pour into a bowl. Add equal amount of oil and then the zest. Typically yields about one cup of marinade. If you are stickler for measurements and consistency then use 1/4 cup each of lemon and orange juice, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons of oil.