Thursday, December 29, 2016

Oven-Marinated Olives, Mushrooms & Artichokes

These are simple vegetable appetizers you can do ahead in the oven by combining various bite-sized edibles with herbs, spices, citrus peel and flavored oils.  They are nice warm or room temperature though they taste best if allowed to sit overnight to soak up all the flavorings.

Our olives get flavor from olive oil, orange peel, fresh thyme and red pepper flakes. Use two cans for a crowd with 2 tablespoon oil, peel of 1/2 an orange, 4-5 sprigs thyme and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.  Feel free to adjust amounts to suit your tastes.  This makes a fairly spicy olive.

We use small frozen artichokes that are defrosted before being mixed with olive oil, lemon peel, juice of 1/2 lemon, fresh parsley and fresh thyme.  Canned artichokes do not hold up as well in the oven.  If you only have canned ones, marinate them at room temperature after rinsing them with a strainer.  You will need at least a day in the refrigerator to marinate.

Our mushroom have a secret ingredient, fish sauce*.  A little goes a long way.  Mix a few drops with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil oil for every cup of mushrooms.  Also add oregano and black pepper.

Wrap each mixture tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 400˚F for 15-20 minutes.  Allow them to cool in their packets then open and serve with toothpicks.  Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

*Use soy sauce in place of fish sauce for strictly vegetarian.  There are one or two vegan Worcestershire sauces that can be used as well.

Happy New Year!