Saturday, June 1, 2013

Insalata Ca-razy


The time had come to open the jar of garlic and jalapeños I'd pickled. The contents were spicy, flavorful and worth the wait. Pickling had managed to smooth out the flavors of both the peppers and the garlic without taking away any of their respective heat. Each had also picked up flavor from the other, the vinegar, and the picking spices.

Eating the spicy treats straight from the jar had been fun, but incorporating them into a dish or two seemed like even more fun.

First, I had simply chopped up a few cloves of the garlic and had sautéed them with some squash from the garden in butter and oil. The vinegary garlic made the dish pop, but I'd wanted to use the jalapeño in a dish as well. The next day, spotting some fresh tomatoes in the kitchen, I was inspired to create my, somewhat, crazy take on the Insalata Caprese, or salad of Capri, which is a simple salad of buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, salt and olive oil.

Oh, Capri! Your famous pants are either too short or too long! Make up your minds! And your salad? Forgot the jalapeños?

Insalata Ca-razy:

1 Sliced Tomato
1/2 Sliced Pickled Jalapeño
3 Cloves Pickled Garlic, Minced
1/2 Avocado, Sliced Lengthwise in Strips

Arrange these items on a plate, sprinkle with goat cheese, fresh black pepper, and ribbons of fresh basil. Dress it in extra virgin olive oil, black mission fig balsamic vinegar, and a little of the pickling vinegar. Serve on a Summer day with a glass of Albariño or a Scotch ale to manage the jalapeno's bite.