21 July 2017


Finally, there is really no cooking here.  You can pull out any leftovers from those other two salads, add these sammies and dip, take a quick look around the mess that your guests left in your house last weekend, and ditch it all for a picnic in the park. Maybe I'll see you there, avoiding eye contact over our beers.

Vegetarian Muffuletta

Serves 4
1 loaf of Italian bread (or something else firm and crusty)
8 oz. roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives (or your favorite pitted green olive)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 pickled pepperoncini peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil, plus extra for roasting the carrots and cauliflower
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus an extra splash to season the cauliflower
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 shallot, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
Small handful of basil leaves
1/4 pound aged provolone, thinly sliced (leave this out for a vegan sandwich)
Handful of arugula

Add the capers, olives, garlic, pepperoncini peppers, and the 1/2 cup of olive oil to a food processor, and pulse until the ingredients are roughly chopped. Transfer the pulsed ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and add the red wine vinegar, dried oregano, celery seeds, chili flakes, and shallot. Fold all the ingredients together. Some excess oil is OK—it will soak into the bread and make the sandwich delicious. Taste the olive mixture. It should taste strongly acidic, salty, and spicy. Adjust the flavor with more salt or red wine vinegar as necessary. Set the mixture aside.

Slice the bread in half with a serrated knife. If the bread seems too tall, dig out some of the middle of the bread (you can save this to make croutons or thicken soup later). Spread the olive mixture onto both halves of the bread, allowing some of the extra oil to soak into the bread. Starting with the bottom piece of bread, lay down the carrots, followed by the cauliflower. Tear the basil leaves with your hands and place them on top of the cauliflower. Next, add the provolone, followed by the roasted red peppers. Place a handful of arugula onto the top piece of bread. If there is excess oil leftover from your olive mixture, drizzle some of this over the arugula. Close the sandwich and nom nom nom. 

Feta Pistachio Dip

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup shelled pistachios
1 clove garlic
1 bunch of dill
1 teaspoon dried mint or a few sprigs of fresh mint
4 ounces feta
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Get a selection of raw seasonal vegetables for dipping.

Buzz the garlic and pistachio together in a food processor into a rough crumble. Add the dill and mint and pulse until well chopped and amalgamated, add the feta cheese, and pulse. Add the yogurt and pepper and pulse. Drizzle the olive oil in and pulse one more time. Taste for salt; because of the feta, it shouldn’t need any. This dip will hold easily for a day or two in the fridge and should rest for at least 4 hours to let the flavors meld. I actually like it better at room temp for dipping, though.