So on sunday for lunch I took John on a secret date! It was extremely secret, especially because it was exactly the most obvious time and place for brunch. So we had lovely brunch of massive plates of Mexican goodness at Pequeña. Coffee and hot sauce, represent!
Afterward we ran up the street (in the surprising rain-in-January with no umbrellas) and bought a lot of ridiculous indulgent out of season food: grape tomatoes and blueberries and red pepper and half a pound of beautiful deli-sliced salami full of peppercorns. Eventually, after an afternoon of relaxing, playing games and drinking nips of bourbon, I decided it was dinnertime. So here's what I did.
Salami rolls filled with love and goodness
good cheese (parmesan)
strips of sautéed mushroom
I had to break the toothpicks out of my giant box of knitting equipage, where they'd been waiting to be used as on-demand cable needles. Yes multitasking!
Quarter or thinly slice some grape tomatoes; shave some thin pieces of parmesan. For mushrooms, I had leftover sautéed bits, but you could clearly wilt them quickly yourself, or even just use thinnish raw slices. Make sure all your bits and pieces are cut into narrow, long shapes. You could also substitute out different vegetables as you see fit; herbs or greens would be particularly welcome.
Take a piece of salami and stack up a sliver or two of tomato, a piece of cheese, and a mushroom strip down its middle. Roll the sides in and secure with a toothpick. Repeat until you have as many rolls as you want to eat.
Ok! Now, you could eat them like this, but, for maximum greatness, cook them. Heat a nonstick pan on medium and lay each roll straight in. You don't need oil; the salami will render plenty. It will also spatter, so be aware. Cook the rolls briefly (maybe a minute?) on one side, then flip them. After another 45 seconds or a minute, they are done.
See, that was nothing! Eat them!
John was super excited about the results. I predict that if you come to a party at our house anytime soon, there will probably be a plate of these.
You could totally substitute anything you want in one of these rolls. Since they're cooked so briefly, just make sure you don't use, say, raw potatoes. For cheese, you could use anything that sounds good with salami: gouda, emmenthaler, romano, whatever. Vegetables could include all manner of greens, herbs, slivered pepper, green onion, olives, green beans, or sautéed eggplant. Again, whatever. For lunch today, I filled my rolls with cream cheese, grape tomato, and a handful of ripped raw chard, then ate them raw: awesome. I imagine cream cheese would be even better in the cooked rolls. Mmm, obsession with cream cheese.
Also, notice that you now have some lovely rendered fat in your pan. Use it to sauté some roughly chopped greens! I had chard and it was delightful.