Carpione

Carpione is an Italian ancient way of preparing food to preserve it during the warm season without refrigeration. There are many regional variations of carpione: in the lake region of northern Italy it’s typically used to preserve fish, as it is in Venice where this recipe takes the name of “saor”. The ingredients may vary from place to place but this preparation gives the food – fish, vegetables, or chicken – a tangy flavor perfect for a summer dinner or as an appetizer in any other season.
Thanks to the vinegar, this recipe keeps for many days in the refrigerator.

Zucchini “in carpione”

Ingredients:

(for 4 people)  A  B  Gf

  • 6 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 8 leaves of sage
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper grains

Cut the onions in half and soak them in a quart of cold water for at lest half an hour.
Wash the zucchini, remove both ends and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each half into three sections, and then cut each section lengthwise into thirds. You should obtain sticks approximately 1½ inch long.

Warm up the Evoo oil in a frying pan and sauté the zucchini for about 7 to 9 minutes, stirring often. Don’t overcook them.
Prepare the carpione marinade. Pat the onions dry and slice them thinly. Warm up the EVOO in a pan and sauté the onions with the sage, without letting them brown (about 5-7 minutes). When they are tender, add the wine and the vinegar, then bring to a boil and let half of the liquid evaporate. Add the pepper grains.
Transfer half of the zucchini into a deep glass container and pour half of the hot marinade over it. Make a second layer with the remaining zucchini and pour the rest of the marinade over it. Let the zucchini marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving them.

Thanks to the vinegar, the zucchini will keep for several days in the refrigerator, becoming tastier and tastier.

Chicken “in carpione”

Ingredients:

(for 4 people)  A  B  Gf

  • 1 lb. of organic chicken breast tenders
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. of brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. of sunflower oil
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 8 leaves of sage
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. pink pepper grains

Cut the onions in half and soak them in a quart of cold water for at lest half an hour.
Mix the brown rice flour and the salt in a shallow dish. Toss the chicken tenders in the flour and coat evenly.Warm up the sunflower oil in a frying pan. Transfer the breast tenders into the pan and cook them evenly on all sides.

Prepare the carpione marinade. Pat the onions dry and slice them thinly. Warm up the EVOO in a pan and sauté the onions with the sage and rosemary, without letting them brown (about 5-7 minutes). When they are tender, add the wine and the vinegar, then bring to a boil and let half of the liquid evaporate. Add the pink pepper.
Transfer half of the chicken into a deep glass container and pour half of the hot marinade over it. Make a second layer with the remaining chicken and pour the rest of the marinade over it. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving it.

N.B. Please remember to wash your hands and every surface that has been in touch with the chicken with hot water and anti-bacterial soap, since poultry meat is very prone to contamination by the dangerous bacterium E. coli.

Fish “in carpione”

For this recipe you can use small fish fillets (like dover sole, tilapia, trout, etc.) or whole small fish like sardines. In the latter case, the vinegar will soften the fish bones and you want even feel them.
This dish can be served cold as an appetizer or warm on a bed of boiled Arborio rice, as they still do in the Como Lake region. The first time we took a couple of dear American friends to eat this dish in a hole in the wall in a tiny village near Bellagio, they asked us why we had ordered food for eight people. Fifteen minutes later, though, they were scraping the bottom of the serving dish, wondering how they would digest that huge amount of food. To their pleasant surprise, not only they didn’t have any problems digesting their lunch but by five o’clock they had room for an ice cream.
Ah, the wonders of genuine, organic regional Italian food!

Ingredients:

(for 4 people)  A  B  Gf

  • 1 lb. of fish fillets (dover sole, tilapia, trout, mullet etc.) or whole small fish like sardines
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. of brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. of sunflower oil
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 8 leaves of sage
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper grains

Cut the onions in half and soak them in a quart of cold water for at lest half an hour.
Mix the brown rice flour and the salt in a shallow dish. Toss the fish fillets or the whole small fish in the flour and coat evenly.Warm up the sunflower oil in a frying pan. Transfer the fish into the pan and cook it evenly on all sides.

Prepare the carpione marinade. Pat the onions dry and slice them thinly. Warm up the EVOO in a pan and sauté the onions with the sage, without letting them brown (about 5-7 minutes). When they are tender, add the wine and the vinegar, then bring to a boil and let half of the liquid evaporate. Add the pink pepper.
Transfer half of the fish into a deep glass container and pour half of the hot marinade over it. Make a second layer with the remaining fish and pour the remaining marinade over it. Let the fish marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving it.

The fish will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator but remember to take it out a couple of hours before serving it.

 

 

Chicken salad

Chicken leftovers? No problem! Last night I roasted a whole chicken, definitely too much for the two of us, especially because I don’t like its flavor if I warm it up the following day. So I removed the bones while the leftovers were still warm and today I turned them into this appetizing recipe.

Ingredients:

(for 4 people)  A  B  Gf

  • the meat from half roasted chicken or 1 lb. of organic chicken breast
  • one carrot (optional)
  • one stalk of celery (optional)
  • half yellow onion (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. of EVOO
  • 2 tender stalks of celery
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds
  • the juice of half lemon
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. of mayonnaise (see my recipe)

If you don’t have any chicken leftovers, boil the chicken breast until tender (approximately 40 minutes) in a quart of water, together with half yellow onion, one carrot and one stalk of celery.

In the meantime, make the mayonnaise (see my recipe). Then wash and peel the carrot, wash the celery and the bell pepper. Chop finely the celery and the carrot, cut the bell pepper into thin slices removing the seeds and white membrane inside, and then cut them into small pieces.

Mince the chicken, put it into a mixing bowl, squeeze the lemon on top of it, toss, add the chopped vegetables, the roasted pumpkin seeds, the mayonnaise, toss again and serve.

N.B. Please remember to wash your hands and every surface that has been in touch with the chicken with hot water and anti-bacterial soap since poultry meat is very prone to contamination by the dangerous bacterium E. coli.

 

 

 

Celery root salad

A variation of the traditional coleslaw, this simple recipe is a quick solution for an appetizer or a fresh side dish. Hard to believe that such an easy recipe can be so tasty.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 people) A V B Gf

  • 1celery root
  • 3 Tbsp. of mayonnaise (see recipe)
  • Pepper

Make the mayonnaise following my recipe.
Peel the celery root with a potato peeler and julienne very thinly.
Add the mayonnaise, taste for salt and add if necessary, then a little bit of freshly ground pepper to taste, toss and serve.