Holiday Eats – Area Chefs Share Seasonal Favorites – Part 1
Holiday celebrations this year will feel even more special as many of us get together with our families as many of us renew traditions that were skipped a year ago. During our annual “holiday food” conversations with local chefs and restaurateurs, each of the recipes they chose to share had some connection to their roots. We hope these dishes encourage you to spread warmth and hope to your loved ones this holiday season.
Summer Street Grocers
Frank Francione, a chef by trade who lives in Chelmsford, saw Summer Street Grocers as an opportunity to bring a community feel to a grocery store, similar to another locally owned Chelmsford market, The Elegant Farmer, which closed a few years ago.
The 3,200-square-foot store offers grocery products and a variety of prepared foods. He plans to begin offering locally grown produce during the 2022 growing season.
Francione’s Italian American roots dominate his family’s holiday celebrations. “One of the biggest staples over the years that has really made the meal feel like a holiday one is the antipasti,” he says. Often the first course of a traditional Italian meal, antipasti typically includes cured meats, cheeses, olives and vegetables cured in olive oil.
“When I was younger, my grandmother would make classic rolled meats and cheeses with garnishes,” Francione says. He remembers going to Boston’s North End with his father to pick up “the good stuff,” emphasizing that quality meats for holiday dishes have always been a top priority for his family.
If you’re looking for ingredients to re-create a traditional holiday dish, Francione plans to bring quality food to the community through Summer Street Grocers this holiday season.
Summer Street Grocers
Summer Street Grocers Holiday Antipasto
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
1 cup high quality prepared artichoke hearts
1⁄2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
1⁄2 cup oil-cured olives, pitted
1⁄2 cup ripe black olives, pitted and sliced
1⁄4 cup caper berries, sliced
1 cup Peppadew peppers, halved
1 1⁄4 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella, torn into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces Genoa salami, cut into thick slices
4 ounces prosciutto San Daniele, sliced
3 ounces mortadella, sliced
3 ounces of soppressata, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
The juice of half of 1 lemon
Measure and gather all of the ingredients. Arrange everything except for the meats on a plate or sheet pan, keeping everything separate.
Choose a serving platter about 14 inches in diameter, or big enough to evenly spread all of the ingredients without needing to pile them too high.
Start plating by laying out a few pieces of meat, keeping the mortadella and prosciutto somewhat folded to create some height. You will repeat this technique as you build and layer the antipasto.
Working around the plate, begin layering the other ingredients, working in stages and spreading things out and around the platter. Try to alternate ingredients of different colors in order to make your platter more attractive. There’s really no wrong way to do this; the goal is to make the platter colorful and have all the ingredients evenly distributed, so have some fun and make it nice!
Finish the antipasto by drizzling the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice over the entire platter.
Enjoy with your favorite fresh bread.