Antipasti & Tapas Preserves: Spanish and Italian chefs frequently serve appetizer delicacies from cans and jars.  For example: Pequillo peppers are always preserved,  alici (citris -cured anchovies) are packaged,  delicious artichoke hearts, sometimes with long stems, are now found on supermarket shelves, tuna in olive oil is popular throughout the Mediterranean.  And, there is a wide variety of small fish and shellfish widely available that make wonderful antipasti (tapas) ingredients, or they can stand alone.  Fearless cooks should never be reluctant to serve these splendid preserves to their most discerning guests.  If the King of Spain orders Pequillo peppers with tuna under oil and olives to whet his appetite you can bet everything on his plate comes from a can or a jar. Below is a splendid appetizer I served yesterday for lunch that includes roasted plumb tomatoes together with Spanish sardines, European sprats preserved in jars under olive oil, and olives.   Easy to prepare, delicious, beautiful presentation, combining a little gardening, home cooking, and savvy shopping.  Being a fearless cook allows you to discover and serve some of the world’s great delicacies even though you didn’t prepare every ingredient yourself.  

 

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