Suzi's Blog

Really Simple Anchovy, Caper and Tomato Salad

“Don’t add salt.” Suzen was issuing a command, not a suggestion.

I had just described the dinner I was planning. I’m upstate and she’s in the city. Her antennae are always up when I’m on my own, the kitchen is mine, and she’s wondering what the devil I’m going to create.

“No salt,” I replied calmly. “Just pepper.” Actually, I was already in the pepper-only mode. Even I have my salt limits.

This salad is the Really Simple class. You can make this in less than a minute. Uh, but you shouldn’t. There’s some slicing involved and I want all your fingertips in place at the end.

Here’s the idea: top fresh tomato with anchovies and capers then add some balsamic vinegar. It’s simple, quick, and thoroughly satisfying. The intensity of the anchovies, the capers, and the vinegar will generate a sizzle in your mouth.

Anchovy, Caper and Tomato Salad

Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato, still firm and meaty
  • 10 white anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Chives, optional

Preparation:

Wash and dry the tomato. Slice it into 6-8 pieces. Arrange the pieces on a plate. Place the anchovy fillets on top of the tomato slices, then top with the capers. Pour the vinegar over the tomatoes. Flavor with fresh pepper.

If you desire, decorate with some diced chives.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

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Mango Banana Salsa

There you are in the produce aisle. There it is: big, colorful, obviously ripe and juicy. You try to walk past, but it murmurs “Buy me” and you succumb. It’s okay. You are only human and mangos have that tropical reputation. Don’t feel guilty. Who could resist?

But, but, now that you have those mangos home in your refrigerator, what do you do. What can you do quickly?

This mango salsa is one of my favorite Really Simple recipes. It takes just a few minutes to make. And you may notice there that there is no cilantro is this salsa, no mint, no …  That’s the idea: this is a very simple, very fruity salsa with a fine balance of heat and sweetness.

Why the sugar? It’s to help extract juices from the fruit, as well as to balance the power of the serrano and jalapeno. Use other pepper combinations if you need to.

This salsa is a great match for any meat, or for fish. With its strong fruit flavors, you could feature this beauty atop ice cream or pound cake. From start to finish, this salsa will power your meal.

Mango Banana Salsa

Yield: 8 servings:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced medium
  • 1 large banana, peeled and diced medium
  • 1 medium red onion, diced finely
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced with seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds removed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Preparation:

Work first with mango, peeling and dicing. Place the diced pieces in a medium –sized glass blow. Continue with the banana and onion. Dice the peppers, working with rubber gloves and making sure to avoid touching your eyes.

Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Then add the sugar and mix again. Taste test for heat, recognizing that in an hour this salsa will definitely be hotter.

Salt and pepper are not needed. If there is a hint of any harsh flavor, add another tablespoon of sugar.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before service. If refrigerating for a longer, then occasionally stir.

Source: Brian O’Rourke