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Mushroom, Olive and Caper Sauce — Σάλτσα από Mανιτάρια, Eλιές και Kάππαρη

Aglaia Kremezi’s latest book, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy, boasts a number of flavorful recipes and among them is this Mushroom, Olive and Caper Sauce. This sauce is an ideal pantry item that can (with minimal do-ahead preparation) provide you with a quick, healthy meal any night of the week.

I love (I think it’s obvious, but what the heck), love, love to cook. Seriously, sitting in the kitchen chopping vegetables, seasoning meat, prepping seafood, whipping up cookies, baking a fresh loaf of crusty bread, or slathering a home-made cake with light-as-air, home-made (am I being redundant?) buttercream is to me, what a day at the spa is for many others. But sometimes, I am in definite need of a cooking short cut. For me though, that doesn’t mean bringing home a box of macaroni and cheese or a frozen pizza … instead it means taking a little time (30 minutes tops) to put together the majority of a dish that I can then easily serve in the coming days. 


And Kremezi’s Mushroom, Olive and Caper Sauce is a shining example of that. Just make this when you have a few minutes to spare; store it in tightly sealed jars and refrigerate it for up to three weeks or store it in a cool, dry pantry for five to seven days.  

The most obvious route would be to serve this sauce with hot, just-drained hollow pasta –like penne, shells, farfalle or, my personal favorite, campanelle.  Serve the pasta warm or at room temperature. Just prepare the sauce in advance and toss it with freshly-cooked pasta right before serving.

But please don’t stop there! There are a ton of things you can serve this sauce with … try it over toasted bread slices or bruschetta; transform a homemade pizza pie into a unique culinary treat; or spoon it over pan-seared chicken breasts or chicken thighs for a truly flavorful meal. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Kali Orexi! 

Σάλτσα από Mανιτάρια, Eλιές και Kάππαρη–Mushroom, Olive and Caper Sauce
From Aglaia Kremezi’s Mediterranean Hot and Spicy

Makes about 3 cups of sauce (enough for 2 lbs. of pasta)

1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup dried porcini, soaked in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes
1-3 small fresh chili peppers (i.e. pepperoncini) chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup capers, soaked in warm water, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until soft.  Add the chili pepper and garlic and sauté briefly, being careful not to let the garlic take on any color. Drain (reserving the soaking liquid) and chop the dried porcini and add them to the pan together with the reserved liquid. Toss the mushroom mixture and remove from the heat. Stir the mixture a couple of times and then let cool a bit. Once cooled slightly, add the vinegar and wine then sprinkle with the oregano or rosemary. Transfer the mixture to a 1-quart jar, cover and let stand overnight. Mix in the chopped olives, capers and the remaining olive oil. Cover again, shake well and taste.  Adjust the seasonings by adding salt and freshly ground pepper.

Store in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.  Let stand at room temperature for at least one hour and shake well before serving.

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10 Responses to “Mushroom, Olive and Caper Sauce — Σάλτσα από Mανιτάρια, Eλιές και Kάππαρη”

  1. Peter says:

    I love this, Maria and I’m tempted to get up now and make this pasta dish and this sauce now.

    This alone sells Aglaia’s latest book!

  2. Rosa says:

    A delicious sauce! Nice mix of ingredients!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Ivy says:

    I love combining mushrooms with rosemary. They are a great match together. Why are the capers soaked in water?

  4. Maria this looks delicious and easy! I’m definitely trying this.
    I love your pasta dish!
    Magda

  5. admin says:

    Ivy: To take a away a bit of the salty brine, but you can leave them as is if you prefer the capers that way.

  6. Anna A. says:

    Never tried mixing these all together but it totally makes sense. I’m gonna look into this – good for lent now!

  7. Ah, yummy. Will look Kremezi’s book next time at the cookbook shop. I so agree with you on cooking being like a spa day. I always tell people that cooking is my therapy.

  8. Cooking is the best “spa” there is! LOL! What I adore here is the wonderful simplicity of this dish. Simple ingredients come together to form a memorable flavour combination! Def great with pasta but I’m ready to put it on bruschetta!

  9. Simple and delicious combination!

  10. elly says:

    I love love LOVE the sound of this, Maria. Some of my favorite ingredients wrapped up into one flavorful sauce.

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