Calore misto

Pepperoncini peppers, 1/2 cup 
Cherry peppers, 1/2 cup
Black olives, 1/4 cup
Green olives, 1/4 cup
Red peppers, roasted, 1/2 cup
Artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup
Capers, 5 tbsp
Garlic, chopped, 1/2 tsp
Shallots, chopped, 5 tbsp
Anchovy, chopped very finely (1)
Olive oil, 2 cups
Tabasco sauce to taste

1. Chop first ten ingredients in food processor or by hand.
2. Add olive oil and mix.
3. Adjust seasoning with Tabasco. 

The story: This ingredient-heavy, yet relatively simple recipe came from a hotel in Seattle where my family and I stayed during a business trip when I was about 13 years old. The trip is most memorable to me for the fact that I spent a day with a friend from summer camp at the Lakeside School, where she was a student, and vowed that my children would never go to a (stuck-up, largely affluent and well-regarded) public school like I went to. (I'm sure you appreciate the irony. Now, back to the food.)

My dad, Thomas, getting ready for the annual spring party
(Mardi Gras-themed that year), May 1999
Anyway, my father ordered this dip at the hotel restaurant, which I'm confident I didn't touch at the time. (I was an exquisitely picky child - more on that to come - who grew into an adult who draws the line only at live oysters.) It quickly found its way onto the menu at my parents' (otherwise catered) annual spring fêtes, and I'm hoping it will make a reappearance this summer when my parents host my father's friend Rod MacDonald for a concert at our house.

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