The hot weather we've been having (in Taranaki and the Waikato, at least) has made lazy al fresco dining de rigeur of late. Eating summery BBQ and salads not only taste good, but mean we can avoid being in a stuffy kitchen. Pondering the antipasto platter I'm about to assemble I started to think about different bits and pieces which can serve to add flavour and substance to the basics of outdoor dining. We all know there's the grilled veges, innumerable salads, olives, prosciutto, breads, BBQed steak, breads. But what about those bits on the side, the dirty little mistresses of the antipasto platter?
A few years ago, in my quest to have the foods I wanted without the ingredients I deemed to be 'bad' (I was often misguided, in hindsight, but sometimes on the money), I was given this recipe for aïoli sans œufs (egg-free aïoli). It's thick and creamy but, without the eggs, better for a lot of people (though don't get me wrong - eggs are wonderful and good for most of us too).
bulb of garlic 150ml olive oil
150ml peanut oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200°C
1.Cook bulb of garlic, unpeeled, in hot oven for 30 minutes.
2.Peel cloves and mash into purée.
3.Add salt, pepper and oils slowly, thickening
Another great idea for the ol' antipasto, or as an addition to your BBQed meat, is the love affair between onions and sugar. Balsamic onions are the best. They can be done on the BBQ, or in a pan, so great all year around. Fantastic on breads as well, as an alternative pizza topping, or alongside some kebabs.
2 red onions, sliced (or capsicums is good too) 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp balsamic 2 tbsp brown sugar
1.Cook onions slowly. 2.Gather, toss with vinegar and sugar. 3.Cook on very low heat until needed.