Chances are, now that it's picnic season, that you're in need of a back-pocket appetizer that doesn't take too much effort but actually looks like you tried. That's where this speedy antipasto comes in. It stars just three ingredients: piquant-sweet peppadew peppers, salami, and provolone cheese. Find out how to pull together this recipe-free dish — no cooking required.
Wow, where has 2011 gone? It's hard to believe that it's already June 1, but to say we're excited for Summer is an understatement. It's our favorite season, and we plan on going all out! We'll be grilling, chilling, and mixing up plenty of cool cocktails. To ensure that you do the same, we're sharing our must-have items. Here's what you need to have a fabulous month.
Salami is quite the versatile little meat: it's delicious on an appetizer platter alongside bread and cheese, tossed in a chopped salad, layered atop pizza, or crisped up into salami chips. But a recent shipment from Columbus salame got us wondering: what's the deal with the various types of salami out there? We've established the difference between salumi and charcuterie, but what about within the salami family itself?
All salami is made from a combination of uncooked ground meat, spices, wine, and garlic, which is then dried and cured. It develops a fine, white mold on the outside during the curing process, much like the coating on brie cheese, which is usually edible. But beyond that, there's tons of variation in this tasty, salty delicacy. Here are some of the most common varieties, and what sets them apart.
- Genoa salami: Traditionally made with pork and veal, and seasoned with garlic, red wine, and pepper.
- Soppressata: Usually made with pork, soppressata has a higher fat content and a more rustic appearance than most salami. Soppressata is typically pressed with a heavy weight while curing and cured until it loses 30 percent of its weight, intensifying its flavor.
- Pepperoni: Not a traditional Italian salami, pepperoni is an Italian-American invention. It's finely ground, lightly smoked, and spicy.
- Herbed or peppered salami: Traditional salami that has — surprise! — been rolled in cracked peppercorns or dried herbs.
- Nduja: A deliciously spreadable salami made of pork meat, pork fat, and spicy red peppers.
- Cotto salami: Salami that has been partially cooked or smoked before or after curing.
What's your favorite type of salami?
While charcuterie and salumi share many similarities — both are cured meats, and both maximize the use of every part of the animal — they're not the same thing. Charcuterie, a French term, typically refers to cooked meats such as pâtés. The Italian equivalent of charcuterie is referred to as affettati, while salumi generally refers to salted and dry-cured meats. Salame (plural is salami) is a cured sausage made from ground pork, and is a type of salumi.
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Meet Sting, Grammy-winning singer, songwriter — and organic farmer.
Last night at a town theater in Figline Valdarno, Italy, the rock star opened up about his 300-hectare Tuscan estate, which includes a 100 percent organic farm. There, he produces extra virgin olive oil, chestnut and acacia honey, fruits, vegetables, jam, salami, and other food products that are popular among fellow Tuscans.
"I came here and I decided to stay and be a farmer, because I wanted to nourish my family with genuine quality products in a healthy environment," the singer explained. "With this business in Tuscany I am trying to help myself and those who are close to me to live better in a natural context."
The celebrity also spoke about another highly anticipated product of his estate: his own label of wines, scheduled to roll out in September. The line will include a Chianti and a Toscana made primarily from Sangiovese grapes grown on his estate. The first release will be 30,000 bottles of 2007 vintage that have been cellared for two years.
Although I knew Sting was a notable environmental activist, I must admit that I had no idea he had a 100 percent organic farm that produced goods such as olive oil and salami. Would you buy Sting's wine to support his efforts?
While I enjoy homemade pizzas, I rarely think of whipping up calzones. However, the classic cousin to pizza is incredibly simple, quick, and satisfying to make. This recipe takes refrigerated pizza dough and stuffs it with ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses, fresh spinach, and thinly sliced salami. The marinara sauce is served on the side for dipping. Like pizza, the possible filling combinations are virtually endless, so adapt this recipe to suit your family's liking. It's a great way to use up leftover cheese, meat, and vegetables.
To learn the technique for making calzones, read more
I love Ike's Place so much that I could start a 'Wich of the Week spinoff devoted solely to sandwiches from Ike's. I was hesitant to write about my new favorite sandwich place in San Francisco, since the lines are long enough already. But keeping the enormous, palate-entertaining creations to myself wouldn't be in the spirit of sandwich love.
Opened a year ago, Ike's is a tiny storefront in the Castro neighborhood, barely big enough to accommodate its sizable staff — making sandwiches this well is no easy task — and massive menu of 50-plus sandwiches with playful names like Nacho Boy (hot roast beef, mushrooms, avocado, and swiss) and the Paul Reubens (a take on the Reuben with poppy-seed coleslaw). Priced between $7 and $9, these are some of the largest sandwiches I've ever eaten; if I have one for lunch, I'm hardly hungry for dinner. But that's not even a taste of why I like Ike's. To count the ways, read more
I was checking out one of my favorite websites when I came across some gasp-worthy food art. Belgian contemporary artist Wim Delvoye has created a marble floor with salami. Upon first sight of the piece, I was simultaneously wowed by the Delvoye's creativity and . . . hungry.
I already consider food art, but this installation made me consider art as food. Alas, it turns out the patterns are actually made of C prints of the meat (not actual meat) so it couldn't be eaten anyway. What do you think of it? Would you want an inedible marble salami floor?
Packed with cheese, olives, and salumi, an antipasto platter is one of my favorite Italian appetizers. So imagine how excited I was when I discovered this recipe for an antipasto salad!!
Fresh balls of mozzarella mingle with salami, olives, and pepperoncini in this hearty, crunchy salad. Be sure to serve it with a chunk of ciabatta to sop up the vinegary dressing. A cold Italian white is also a lovely companion to this delicious dish.
For the recipe, read more