Weekend Dish: It’s 40°C outside. I’m all about tapas.

I wanted to make a killer (and easy) lunch that didn’t require an excessive amount of time in front of a hot stove, so I gathered a handful of mushrooms, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. I also grabbed a log of Salami Milano, to give this dish an extra bit of heartiness and flavor.

Prepping raw ingredients is therapeutic. Washing, peeling, cutting… it’s simple, honest work… and it’s the foundation of everything we cook in our kitchens.

Skimp on this step, and the rest of your efforts are wasted. The entire meal suffers from mediocrity. Doors close all around you, and friends remove you from their contact lists.

What’s better than cured meat? I cut a few rounds, then diced them up to match the size of the mushrooms.

After “processing” everything, I put my sauté pan over a medium flame, and waited for it to get nice and hot. Then I added a good splash of olive oil and threw the shallots, mushrooms, and salami into the pan. Some black pepper, and a splash of Balsamic vinegar followed. After about five minutes, I lowered the flame and dumped the tomatoes and herbs in there too. No salt needed, because salami already had enough for the whole dish. After waiting for most of the water from the tomatoes to reduce, the mixture was ready. I killed the flame, and sliced up a baguette. Normally I would have toasted the baguette slices, to give every bite a nice crunch, and to help keep the bread from getting soggy… but for this simple home meal, it wasn’t necessary. We enjoy scooping and mopping sauces from our plates with extra bread crusts!

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