SALSA SARACINA (Saracen sauce)

IMG_1038Summer is the time for BBQs and grilled fish with a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, parsley cut finely (do not use a food chopper – it will taste grassy), lemon juice and seasoning.
But sometimes, a different dressing can make it more special and will bring more compliments when you present the fish to guests.
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There are no set weights and measures for making sauces – the measures are purely my estimation of the ratio or balance of ingredients and flavours.
Sarsa saracina  (Sicilian) Salsa saracina (Saracen sauce). It is a cooked sauce and has that particular set of ingredients which are so common to Sicilian cooking – olives, pine nuts (or almonds) and seedless sultanas. The sauce contains sugar and saffron – Saracen ingredients particularly popular in foods from the north-western side of Palermo.

INGREDIENTS

green olives, 1 cup, stoned and chopped finely
anchovies, 2-3 cut finely
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil, about ½  cup
sugar, 1 teaspoon
pine nuts or almonds ¾ , toasted and chopped finely
oregano, 1 tablespoon fresh, cut finely or ½  teaspoon dry
sultanas, ½ cup seedless (soaked in some warm water for 30 mins beforehand, then drained, chopped)
saffron, 2 good pinches (it will depend on the potency and quality of your saffron – you need to be able to taste it and see some yellow tinge).

PROCESSES

Heat the oil in a pan and add anchovies and stir to dissolve.
Add the olives and the other ingredients and stir to amalgamate the flavours.
Add the saffron mixed in a little warm water and heat through.
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