John D. Finley: Antipasto with anchovy vinaigrette and a fine Toccata
Pairings

John D. Finley: Antipasto with anchovy vinaigrette and a fine Toccata

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Toccata 2013 Santa Barbara County Sangiovese

Toccata's 2013 Santa Barbara County Sangiovese.

Many people believe antipasto means a dish served before a pasta course. ... Literally, the word “antipasto” is derived from the Latin root “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which means “meal.” Thus, the antipasto course simply refers to the dish that precedes all the others to come. Typical ingredients of a traditional antipasto include cured meats, olives, peperoncini, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, pickled meats, and vegetables in oil or vinegar.

Antipasto with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Threading the antipasto onto skewers creates the perfect vehicle for dipping into the intensely flavored and umami-packed anchovy vinaigrette. 12 Servings.

14oz can quartered artichoke hearts

1c marinated green olives, about 6oz

1c marinated black olives, about 6oz

8oz bocconcini mozzarella balls

4oz salami, sliced

4oz prosciutto, sliced in half

1/2c pepperoncini peppers, about 4 ounces

1pt cherry tomatoes

basil leaves

rosemary sprigs, optional

4" wood skewers

Anchovy Vinaigrette

2Tbl red wine vinegar

3/8c extra virgin olive oil

4 anchovy fillets, diced

2 cloves garlic, smashed then minced

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2tsp cracked black pepper

Thread all ingredients except rosemary sprigs randomly onto 4” skewers.

Arrange the skewers onto a 12” round platter.

Tuck the rosemary sprigs around the skewers for a festive touch (optional).

Make the anchovy vinaigrette. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.

Flip the switch to continuous and blend until the anchovies and garlic are pulverized and the dressing is smooth.

Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

Drizzle the skewers with vinaigrette just before serving, then serve the remainder as a dipping sauce.

Additional meat options: soppressata and bresaola

Additional cheese options: provolone, aged parmesan, pecorino

Additional vegetable options: gherkin pickles, marinated mushrooms, roasted red peppers, raw cucumbers and carrots

Pair this antipasto with either Toccata 2018 Santa Barbara County Pinot Grigio or Toccata 2017 Santa Barbara County Sangiovese. Their Pinot Grigio was grown in the cooler Goodchild vineyard along Foxen Canyon Road. This vintage was picked early and bottled young to preserve its fresh and lively qualities. Carefully tended in the vineyard and nurtured in the winery, these Pinot Grigio grapes produce the subtle aromas of lemon peel, jasmine tea and pear. The wine is crisp with natural acidity developed in the grapes while growing in this cool climate. It is light and delicate with a bright finish. This refreshing Pinot Grigio will be a fine complement to a variety of light dishes, salads, fruit, and cheese, including antipasto.

If you prefer red, Toccata’s Sangiovese, the most widely planted grape variety in Italy, is a fruity red wine with aromas of wild berries and dried herbs. Like a great Chianti, it is dry and extremely versatile when pairing with food. In their family owned vineyards, they have 9 acres of Sangiovese that rivals the best from any region in the world. This wine is the proof. Enjoy!

John David Finley is a free-lance writer and author of the cookbook, Sacred Meals from our Family Table, which features Santa Barbara County wines. He can be reached at jdfinley53@outlook.com

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