Food Scout: Tuscan Finds
An importer who ventured to Mt. Etna in search of honey, Rolando Beramendi ferrets out Italian artisanal foods for his import company, Manicaretti (manicaretti.com). He recently found a spice mix of crushed red pepper, parsley and sea salt at a Tuscan hunting lodge. Beramendi, who re-created the blend from memory when the lodge owner refused to share the recipe, adds it to extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over pasta at his Manhattan wine bar, Bellavitae.
Mediterranean Olives In a glass baking dish, toss black olives such as Gaeta or Calamata with Tuscan Hot Oil. Bake in a 300° oven until warmed through and serve.
Spicy Goat Cheese Bruschetta Toast thickly sliced peasant bread until golden, and while it's still warm, rub with a garlic clove. Spread fresh goat cheese on the toast and drizzle lightly with Tuscan Hot Oil.
Tuscan Marinated Meat and Fish Pour Tuscan Hot Oil into a glass baking dish. Add fish fillets, chicken cutlets, pork chops or steaks and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, then grill or broil.