The Aeolian cuisine and his recipes
From the little information that give us the ancient writers, the predominant part of the Aeolian cuisine Greek and Roman had to be made from fish. Diodorus Siculus (10 V, 1-3) expressly says that the island of Lipari “provided its inhabitants fish of all kinds in large quantities.” Diodorus also boasts the fertility of the island of Lipari “rich in fruits that offer extraordinary pleasure to those who enjoy it.” But the kitchen since the age liparote Greek had to make extensive use of capers, plant appreciated by the Greeks, who attributed to it (though without explicit reference to the Aeolian) medicinal virtues.
For recipes of Aeolian Greek times, they used grinders and mills, mortars and pestles made of stone, large and heavy clay bowls with spout for pouring, large jars, small and large Giarrette jars, bowls and cups of different shapes. In general, the typical gastronomy is given by eolian strong flavors, the use of herbs and aromatic plants produced from that strange and wild nature.
If you eat a lot of meat inside, particularly the rabbit, and excellent cheese, ricotta and pecorino, on the coast, the king of the table is of course the fish. There is, however, a common denominator: the caper that is used to flavor willingly (if ever it were needed) of many dishes. Starting with grouper ravioli in sauce village or black risotto with squid, you move to the main courses of fish squids “ammollicati” Pauro crazy water, looks to the fire, served with ratatouille Aeolian pizzas and eggplant caponata liparota .
The desserts are traditional Sicilian, therefore, to stand, a dessert Aeolian must be a nice fruit ice cream accompanied by Malvasia delle Lipari.
In the old recipes (in the greek period of the Eolian Islands) were used grinders and “macinelli”, mortars and pestles stone, large and heavy earthenware bowls, big pitchers, small “giarette” and large “giare”, bowls and cups of various forms
RECIPES BASED ON CAPERS
How to use them
CAPERS IN SALT: before using them, put them in abundant cold water, changing it many times, to make them loose a little bit of salt and be careful not to salt too much the food they will be added to.
They are optimal also simply flavoured with olive oil, some drops of vinegar and aromatized with garlic. They are used in numerous and delicious dishes, with meat or fish, as vegetables, to prepare sauces and specialty and has a useful tonic-digestive function.
CAPERS IN VINEGAR: before using them it is recommended to wash them in cold water in order to partially eliminate the sour flavour of the vinegar.
They are usually used in tomato salads, rice and mixed and can be used alone with olive oil or any other natural aroma.
The preparation of the dishes has been realized in collaboration with the famous Lipari “FILIPPINO” Restaurant, Chef: Lucio Bernardi.
THE PIZZAIOLA SAUCE
Simple, fast and exceptional: Fry slightly a clove of hand crushed garlic, in olive oil, add some mature and peeled tomatoes and before complete the cooking join one handful of capers.
Fix with salt and pepper. Is is optimal with “pastasciutta”, meat or fish, grape and some vegetables.
Excellent with grilled meat, fillets of fish, hamburgers and chops: 50 grams of butter and one spoonful and a half of good medium capers thin minced.
ANCHOVIES AND CAPER BUTTER
As above, with an addition of fillets of anchovy minced: The butter must be warmed up and skimmed on the flame.
SWORD FISH AT ONASSIS WAY
Ingredients for 4 persons: 4 slices of fresh sword fish, a glass of oil, 2 eggs, 1 small onion, a handful of parsley, a pinch of thymus, a handful of capers, 2 spoonfuls of French mustard, 1 lemon, salt, pepper.
Preparation: Drop in a cup two yolks of egg lightly salted and pour the oil by drops stirring until you obtain three quarters of a mayonnaise cup. Add the lemon juice, onion, parsley, thymus and the capers, the all minced until it reduces in swill. Add two spoonfuls of mustard. Put the slices of fish on the grill greased of oil. Add Salt, pepper, make them brown, serve them very warm.
THIN NOODLES (TAGLIOLINI) WITH CAPERS
Ingredients for 5 persons: 350 gr. capers “occhiellino”, 1/2 litre of fresh tomato sauce, one bunch of basil and one of parsley, two cloves of garlic, three spoons of olive oil.
Preparation: Fry garlic and oil. Hardly brown, put the basil, parsley, fresh tomato sauce, capers and salt, let it cook for a quarter of hour approximately. Flavour with the thin noodles (tagliolini) of fresh paste.
SPAGHETTI WITH CAPERS AND SMALL TOMATOES
Ingredients: 200 gr. of medium or big capers of Lipari, 600 gr. of mature tomatoes cut to small checks, 3 cloves of garlic squashed, a large forelock of basil and mint, 4 spoonfuls of olive oil – chilli pepper at will – spaghetti.
Preparation: Fry the garlic in olive oil, hardly brown add the tomatoes, basil and mint, cook for 5 or 6 minutes, add the capers desalted and complete the baking fixing all with salt and chilli pepper at will. Drop the paste slightly underdone, mix it with the sauce for a few minutes – Serve smoking accompanied with grated sheep cheese (pecorino).
CAPERS SALAD AT FILIPPINO GRANDFATHER’S WAY
Ingredients: 1 medium red onion, 300 gr. of big capers of Lipari, 20 olives, 5 anchovies filleted, 8 tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, mint and hot chilli pepper, 4 boiled patatoes sliced, one leaf of heart of celery cut to small checks.
Preparation: Prepare the raw onion slices after having them immersed for 30 minutes in water and vinegar. Join the big capers desalted and the olives, the anchovies, the celery, the tomatoes cut in length, the patatoes and the chilli pepper. Flavour with the extra virgin oil, abundant basil and mint. At will can be added toasted wholemeal bread lightly softened with lukewarm water.
AEOLIAN SEAFOOD SALAD
Ingredients for 4 persons: 1 kg. of seafood, 200 gr. of small octopuses, shrimps and small cuttlefishes, to flavour: 7/8 spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 spoonful of minced parsley, 1/2 clove of minced garlic, 50 gr. of black olives, 100 gr. of extra big capers, 1/2 minced chilli pepper, the juice of a lemon and salt.
Preparation: brush the seafood, wash them, put them in a frying pan adding sliced onion and some white wine and make the valve open on blazing flame. Drain the seafood, filter the cooking liquid put it apart and therefore untied the molluscs from the valves. Boil the octopuses, shrimps and cuttlefishes in salted water. Drain them well and cut them in small pieces, add them to the seafood that you will keep entire. Flavour the seafood salad with olive oil parsley and the minced garlic, chilli pepper, black olives, capers and salt; therefore add the filtered cooking liquid of the molluscs and the juice of lemon. Mix well.
As starters, in accompaniment to cocktails, as substitutes to olives and small onions, in the composition of aperitifs use the FRUITS OF THE CAPER , “CUCUNCI” (CAPERBERRIES).
Thanks to their particular aroma and their singular consistency, they are very appreciated.