Fiambre Rojo for Día de los Muertos
Día de los Muertos. Day of the dead. But, no, this is not a morbid holiday where zombies rule. This is about remembering. We lost my dad in March. He is first and foremost in my mind this year, but we are feasting and toasting all of those who we have loved and lost.
Fiambre is a salad of sorts, comprise of meats, cheeses, and vegetables all served cold after being marinated in a sauce called a caldillo, basically a vinaigrette. I love that this is dish that families make together.
Because every family has its own recipe, no two fiambre are alike. But there are categories: Fiambre Rojo is made with beets; Fiambre Blanco is made without beets; Fiambre Desarmado or Divorciado is a regionally specific fiambre where all the ingredients are served separately; and Fiambre Verde which is vegetarian. Looking at that list again, I realized that I made fiambre rojo.
Since every family has its own version, there certainly aren't hard and fast rules. Omit what you don't like or don't have; add what you want. All of the veggies were cooked al dente before being marinated in the caldillo. Here's what I used...
fresh mozzarella ciliegie
pork carnitas chunks
Optional: organic marigold blossoms
Caldillo (dressing and marinade)
3/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 cups vinegar
1 cup olive oil
freshly ground salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Whisk everything together to form a dressing. Pour the dressing over the different ingredients. Let marinate for several hours up to overnight if possible. Arrange the ingredients on a platter. Garnish with marigold blossoms, if using. Serve.