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Tomato flavoured red canapes, prepared at the "senese" manner

(Crostini rossi, al pomodoro, alla senese)

  • 4 red tomatoes cut in two parts and left for about 1/2 hour to drain their vegetation humour
  • a handful of pickled capers
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • a mixture composed by 25 grs of butter, melted in a double saucepan and energically whisked with olive oil, in the same way to make a mayonnaise
  • the small leaves of a bunch of "dragoncello"
  • 16 small slices of canapés bread
Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds then, with a knife on a wooden chopping board, chop them and put them in a small bowl. Then chop very finely garlic and parsley and add them to the tomatoes in the bowl. Then chop the capers, but not finely; add the chopped capers to the over mentioned ingredients; add the mixture composed by butter and oil and mix all these ingredients very well. At this time spread this resulting mixture over the roasted, and well warm, slices of bread, guarnish with the chopped "dragoncello" and serve like hors d'oeuvre or vegetables. The only sauce, without bread, can be used like a very good seasoning for mixed boiled meats.
The "senese" note is given by two ingredients, very difficult to find in the recipes of the rest of Tuscany, that means butter and "dragoncello" ("estragone" for the French people). These two ingredients bring back to the French cooking, where they are very used. Probably, as from other things of the "senese" cooking, these ingredients are part of the tradition of 1500, when the Republic of Siena was attacked and defeated by the Florentine Republic, led by Cosimo de'' Medici and helped by the Spanish; the town of Siena asked for the help of France and this latter sent its troops, which were parked in the surroundings of Siena (especially in Montalcino).

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati


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