Conjure up your ancestors, and artfully arrange the following for an Italian feeding frenzy.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Buy a jar of vegan marinated artichoke hearts. If you can't find vegan ones, buy jarred plain ones and follow the marinade steps under the marinated mushrooms. (Just be sure to alter the ingredients so they don't all taste the same)
- Strain the artichoke hearts before serving.
- Small, tightly capped button mushrooms, if available buy regular sized ones
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Apple cider or balsamic vinegar
- Garlic, crushed
- Fresh chopped herbs: parsley, basil, and oregano
- Container with lid-to fit in the refrigerator
- Paper towels
- Mix together in the container: olive oil, vinegar, crushed garlic to taste, herbs, salt and paper to taste. I use a lot more vinegar than oil, but the choice is yours.
- Carefully wipe the mushrooms off with a damp paper towel.
- If using button mushrooms, slice the stems off of the mushrooms and discard.
Add to the marinade, lid the container and refrigerate.
- If using bigger mushrooms, slice the very bottom off of the mushroom stems and discard. Thickly slice and add to the marinade, lid the container and refrigerate.
- Shake or stir, once or twice a day until serving. They will shrink considerably.
- They are best eaten after marinating for at least 24 hours. Don't leave them for more than five days or they might slime.
- Strain before serving.
- Yves® brand vegan pepperoni slices (Buy the big circles, not the pizza circles, from your health food store's fridge)
- Big, jarred capers
- Cocktail toothpicks
- Roll the pepperoni into logs and secure with toothpicks.
- For fanciness, sword a big caper on the top.
- Red, yellow or orange bell peppers
For the eggplant:
- Set your oven to broil and heat up.
- Wash and dry the eggplant.
- Prick the eggplant all with a fork or it might explode during roasting.
- When the oven is really hot, place the eggplant right under the heat source, as close to it as possible. Make sure you put a drip pan or tin foil underneath to avoid drip messes.
- Keep a close eye on it, turning it over often with tongs or a long-pronged fork.
- The eggplant skin will char, keep turning it over.
- When the entire eggplant has browned or charred and the eggplant is very tender when pierced with a fork, remove it from the oven.
- Cool to touch.
- Remove the skin, and watch out for steam! It should come off very easily.
- Slice or cube.
- In a bowl, season the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
For the peppers:
- Set your oven to broil and heat up.
- Wash and dry the peppers.
- When the oven is really hot, place them right under the heat source, as close to it as possible. Make sure you put a drip pan or tin foil underneath to avoid drip messes.
- Keep a close eye on them, turning them often with tongs or a long-pronged fork.
- The pepper will begin to char, keep turning it over.
- When all of the sides have browned or charred and the peppers are easily pierced, remove them from the oven.
- Immediately put them in a brown paper bag and close the bag tightly.
- Leave the peppers to steam in the bag for ten minutes or so.
- Carefully take them out and remove their skin. The skin should come off very easily.
- Half or slice.
- In a bowl, season them with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
For the onions:
- Set your oven between 450-500°F and heat up.
- Cut the ends off the onions and peel.
- Cut the onions into eighths.
- Put them in a bowl and add enough extra virgin olive oil to coat well.
- Salt and pepper them to taste and stir well.
- Spread them evenly onto an oiled cookie sheet.
- When the oven is really hot, place them right under the heat source, as close to it as possible.
- Keep a very close eye on them, turning them often with tongs or a long-handled spoon.
- They will begin to brown, but don't let them char.
- When they are tender, immediately remove from heat.
Buy a nice selection of Italian olives from your friendly neighborhood olive bar. Strain the olives before serving.
marinated artichoke hearts (olive oil and balsamic vinegar 1:1 with garlic, salt and pepper.)
Yves brand Pepperoni slices (could use salami)
roasted eggplant and zucchini
roasted red peppers
Faughn's Sauteed Mushrooms (good fresh mushrooms with shallot, garlic, salt, Earth Balance, and fresh parsley
black cured olives and green garlic olives.