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Cool, colorful, and mostly vegetables, it's an Italian six-dish buffet.

In the Italian equivalent of a delicatessen, a salumeria, tepid but delectable dishes await in colorful display for you to select your choices for a meal. The ability of these foods to wait at room temperature and their strong visual appeal, as well as their simplicity of preparation, suit them well to entertaining.

Here we propose a combination of typical salumeria foods to serve for a party of 8. Because the menu is based mostly on vegetables, the cost is quite reasonable.

A salumeria buffet

Tomatoes and Eggs with Prosciutto

Red Bell Peppers with Anchovies

Carrot Sald Eggplant with Cheese

Swiss Chard, Florentine-style

Sweet-Sour Onions Crusty Rolls

Gateau St.-Honore

Soave or Dry Sauvignon Blanc

All the foods can be prepared ahead, ready to serve. These light dishes deserve a rich dessert like gateau St.-Honore (an Italian favorite) or another fancy pastry, or gelato; buy, or make at home. Tomatoes and Eggs with Prosciutto (Tomate e ova con prosciutto)

8 large (about 3 1/2-in. diameter) rip tomatoes

16 paper-thin slices (about 1/4 lb.) prosciutto

8 cold poached eggs (recipe follows), well drained

Basil mayonnaise (recipe follows)

Immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds; lift out and peel. Slice off the top 1/4 of each tomato; scoop out the center, using a spoon or grapefruit knife, and let drain. If done ahead, cover and let stand at room temperature up to 8 hours. When ready to serve, place tomatoes on a serving platter and drape 2 slices prosciutto in the hollow of each. Gently slip an egg into each tomato and top each equally with basil mayonnaise. Makes 8 servings. Cold poached eggs. Poach 8 servings. Cold poached eggs. Poach 8 eggs as you usually do, then immediately put in ice water to stop cooking. Store in ice water in the refrigerator as long as overnight. Basil mayonnaise. In a blender or food processor, whirl 1 egg, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves into a smooth puree. With motor running, gradually add 1 cup salad oil. When all oil is added, stop motor and taste, adding more lemon juice and salt as desired. Makes about 1 1/3 cups. Red Bell Peppers with Anchovies (Insalata di peperoni) 4 large (about 2 lbs.) red bell peppers 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons water 1 can (2 oz.) flat anchovy fillets, drained

Stem and seed peppers, then cut into strips about 1 inch wide. Place in a 10-to 12-inch frying pan with oil and water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until peppers are limp and liquid has evaporated (remove lid if there is still some liquid, and cook until only oil remains).

Let cool to room temperature; peppers can stand overnight. Arrange peppers on a flat dish. Lay anchovies on top, in a crisscross pattern. Makes 8 servings as part of this menu, or 4 to 5 as a side dish. Carrot Salad (Insalata di carote)

4 large (about 1 lb.) carrots, peeled Water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dry tarragon leaves

2 tablespoons canned green peppercorns, drained

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut carrots vertically into slices about 1/16 inch thick. Cut eac slice lengthwise into sticks about 1/16 inch wide. (Or cut with julienne blade in a food processor.)

In a 5-to 6-quart pan, bring 6 cups water to boiling. Push carrots down into water and cook, uncovered, until just barely tender to bit, about 2 minutes. Drain at once and immerce carrots in ice water to stop cooking. When cool, drain.

Place carrots in a serving dish and mix gently with tarragon, peppercorns, olive oil, and lemon juice. (At this point you can cover and chill until next day.)

Season carrots with salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature. Makes 8 servings in this menu, or 4 to 5 portions as a side dish. Eggplant with Cheese (Melanzana e formaggio)

1 medium-size eggplant, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds

About 1 cup olive oil

About 1/2 pound string cheese

8 or 16 fresh basil leaves

About 1 tablespoon each wine

vinegar and chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Trim stem end of eggplant and discard. Cut eggplant vertically into 10 equal slices. Discard or reserve for other uses the 2 outer pieces with skin.

Place the remaining eggplant slices side by side in two 10- by 15-inch pans and coat cut surfaces generously with olive oil. Bake eggplant in a 425 [deg] oven until slices are browned and feel soft when pressed, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool in pan.

Meanwhile, pull cheese into very fine strings; lay flat and parallel.

Divide cheese in 8 portions and place one portion on each slice of eggplant, laying cheese across narrow direction of the slice. Place 1 or 2 basil leaves on each mound of cheese. Roll eggplant to enclose cheese; use a wide spatula to support eggplant as you lift.

Set rolls, seam side down, on a serving plate. (At this point, you can chill, covered, until next day.)

Drizzle with 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with vinegar, parsley, salt, and pepper; top with Parmesan. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 servings. Swiss Chard, Florentine-style (Bietola)

2 pounds green Swiss chard Water

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Lemon wedges

Wash chard leaves well. Cut off discolored stem bases and discard, then cut off stems at base of leaves and set aside.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Push stems down into water. Cook, uncovered, until limp, about 4 minutes. Lift out and let cool.

At once, push leaves gently down into boiling water and cook until limp, 1 to 2 minutes. Lift out carefully and drain. To preserve the best green color, immerse at once in ice water. When cool, drain.

Select 8 of the largest, most perfect leaves and set aside. Chop remaining leaves and stems together. Mix with 2 tablespoons oil and the lemon juice; add salt and pepper to taste.

Lay out reserved leaves; mound an equal amount of chopped chard on each. Fold each leaf to enclose filling; set seam side down on a serving dish. (If made ahead, cover and chill as long as 24 hours.)

Drizzle with remaining oil and accompany with lemon wedges to squeeze on individually. Makes 8 servings. Sweet-Sour Onions (Cipolle agridolce)

4 large (3- to 4-in. diameter) onions

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/4 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon fresh or dry rosemary

1/4 cup minced parsley

Salt and pepper

Peel onions and cut in half horizontally. Set cut side up in a 9-by 13-inch pan. Mix vinegar and sugar, an spoon onto cut surface of onions.

Mix crumbs with 1/4 cup of the oil, sage, rosemary, and parsley; pat evenly on top of onions. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup oil. Bake in a 375 [deg] oven until onions are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature; onions can stand as long as overnight. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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