Michele Scicolone’s description of family meals has us ready to book a seat on the next flight to Rome. Failing that, we’ll make these olives, chill a summery rosé, and clear our dance cards in advance of a long, lazy weekend lunch. We suspect we won’t be the only ones.
“Sunday lunch in Rome means big family gatherings at the neighborhood trattoria,” Scicolone writes in The Italian Vegetable Cookbook. “The meal often begins with an assortment of antipasti, served family-style. Roasted peppers, baked eggplant, warm slices of frittata, sautéed zucchini, fresh mozzarella, marinated anchovies, little meatballs, and pickled vegetables are among the more common offerings. I can make a whole meal of them!
“One day at Sant’lgnazio, a favorite trattoria, the assortment included warm sauteed green olives with spicy bread crumbs. I loved the way cooking brought out the flavor of the mild olives, and the bread crumbs added a delicious crunch. I serve these with drinks before a meal or as part of my own antipasti tray when I have company.”
The Italian Vegetable Cookbook
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
200 Favorite Recipes for Antipasti, Soups, Pasta, Main Dishes, and Desserts
by Michele Scicolone
Photographs by Alan Richardson
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 2 cups imported green olives such as Sicilian, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
- ½ cup plain dry bread crumbs
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil with the parsley, garlic, and red pepper over medium heat until fragrant. Add the olives to the pan, along with the vinegar, and cook, stirring, until the olives are warm and the vinegar has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the olives to a serving bowl.
- Add the bread crumbs to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until evenly toasted, about 3 minutes more. Toss the olives with the bread crumbs and serve warm.