On Saturday, January 23rd, WI members from Canada and the UK had the pleasure of watching Fay Van Horn as she shared her method for making antipasto. A member of the Glenwood WI and board member of the British Columbia Women's Institute, Fay was invited to give her presentation as a part of our "Learning From Our Elders" series (sponsored by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program).
Antipasto, from the Latin "anti", meaning "before", and "pasto", meaning "meal, is traditionally eaten as a first course in Italy. Many foods such as cheeses and cured meats may be considered antipasto, and pickled vegetables such as Fay's are also popular. Fay hopes her demonstration has inspired others to try growing, canning, and preserving their own foods. She has graciously sent us her written instructions for making vegetable antipasto, adapted from a recipe by Bernardin:
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) coarsely chopped carrots
2 1/2 cups (625 ml or 400 grams)green beans, chop in 1/2 inch (1cm) pieces
2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cauliflower florets
2 cups onion (500 ml) coarsely chopped
2 cups (500 ml) green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cups (500 ml) red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) celery, coarsely chopped
2 cups (500 ml) zucchini or peeled eggplant
2 cups (500 ml) brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 ml) pickling salt
2 cups (500 ml) red wine vinegar
3 cans (each 5 1/2 pz/ 156 ml) tomato paste
1/4 cup (50ml) Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp (25 ml) hot pepper sauce
4 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp (45 ml) dried basil
1 tbsp (15 ml) ground dry mustard
Place 7 clean 500 ml jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180F/82C) Heat the sealing discs in hot water. Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
Prepare carrots and set aside.
Prepare remaining vegetables. If using eggplant, prepare it last to avoid browning.
In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine sauce ingredients except for basil and mustard. Bring to a boil, stirring to avoid burning. Add carrots to this mixture and boil gently for two minutes, continuing to stir. Add remaining vegetables, basil and mustard. Continue to stir and bring to a gentle boil, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove jars from canner, carefully, emptying water back into canner. Fill jars to within 1/2 inch of tops. Remove any air bubbles by running non metallic utensil between jar and food. Check headspace. Wipe rim of jar. Center hot lid on jar, Screw band on until resistance is met, then increase to finger tight. Return jar to canner. Repeat for remaining Antipasto.
When all jars are in canner, make sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm ) of water above jars. Cover canner and bring water to a full rolling boil. Continue to boil for 25 minutes.
When time is complete, remove canner lid and wait five minutes.Then remove jars without tilting and place upright on a protected surface free of drafts.
Let sit undisturbed 12-24 hours, do not tighten lids. You should hear the lids popping so you know they are sealed.
After cooling, check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward towards food and do not move when pressed. Remove ring, wipe and dry jars. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
When ready to serve this Antipasto, mix a jar of Vegetable Antipasto with your own finishing touches, shrimp, fish, mushrooms, olive oil and/or olives.