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.

 

 

Pasta with Swordfish*

Sometimes I crave for a dish that is completely out of season but so good that I have to make it, against my rule that all the ingredients should be seasonal.
It happened the other day, when I suddenly remembered the delicious recipe that a friend of mine had sent to me before Christmas. Caught in the Holidays rush, I had forgotten about it for weeks but, as soon as I remembered it, my mouth began watering at the idea of trying it before sharing it with you.
I must premise that, because of its history and location, Sicily has one of the best culinary traditions of Italy. Over the centuries, the island has been under Greek, Roman, Germanic, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, and even Spanish rule before it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Each culture has left its footprint on the Sicilian gastronomy that, as a result, is a unique blend of exotic and traditional, local and foreign flavors.
Moreover, the island climate allows an incredible variety of crops, which vary from citruses, almonds, olives and pistachios along the coast to mushrooms and berries in the mountains; the Mediterranean seafood is outstanding but, as you move towards the interior, it’s replaced by venison, meat and poultry cooked in distinctive ways, with unique combinations of ingredients. Then are the cheeses, the sweets, the preserves, and the strong wines …
Every bite makes you wonder how somebody came up with such a dizzying mixture of flavors in just one dish. It feels like each new invader wanted to add its own flavors to the local cuisine; then, over the centuries, nobody wanted to renounce to them and they all became part of the Sicilian cooking style.
In Sicily, every meal is a feast or, as a friend of mine likes to say, a challenge because you would like to eat everything.
Just read this recipe and you’ll understand why I’ve classified it under the “indulgence” category. It’s probably not strictly Biological, but certainly worth trying!

*Recipe by Letizia and Max Arcidiacono

ps8

Ingredients:

(serves 4)  S  B  Gf (with rice pasta)

  • 10 oz. of short pasta, preferably Penne
  • 8 oz. of swordfish
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 10 oz .of organic tomato sauce (see my recipe)
  • 1 mature red tomato red round onion
  • one medium round eggplant
  • 6 Tbsp. of Evoo
  • 1 cup of sunflower oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup of sweet white
  • 1 Tbsp. of chopped basil
  • 1 Tbsp. of chopped parsley
  • 1 oz. of grated Ricotta Salata cheese
  • Salt and black pepper Continue reading

Tuscan Cod

Ingredients:

(serves 2)  A  Gf  (with rice flour)

  • 4 pieces (as big as a deck of cards) of frozen* or fresh cod
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour  (rice flour for gluten-free version)
  • ½ lb. ripe organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of green olives, quartered
  • ¼ cup of pickled capers
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • a few leaves of basil, shredded by hand
  • Salt (to taste, optional)
  • Pepper (to taste, optional)

Peel and finely slice the onion. Peel the garlic, cut it in half and remove its green core. Sauté the onion and the garlic in a pan with Evoo. Continue reading

Salmon à la Francoise

This recipe is named after a dear friend of mine, who cooked this recipe for me a couple of weeks ago.
Simple yet delightful, its preparation requires some chopping, but you can prepare your mirepoix in advance.
Serve it with steamed potatoes for a healthy family dinner.

Ingredients:

(serves 6)  A  B  Gf

  • 1 big fillet of wild salmon, approx. 3 lb.
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 8 stalks of celery
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Evoo
  • ½ cup of dry white vermouth
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Preheat the oven at 380F. Continue reading

Salmon in egg sauce

Light and rich at the same time, this recipe is perfect for Good Friday. Serve it with steamed asparagus and my Potato Salad (see recipe) and you’ll have a wholesome dinner.


Ingredients:

(serves 4)  A Gf

  • 4 salmon fillets, 6 to 8 oz. each
  • 6 Tbsp. organic butter
  • 2 organic egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 organic lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the lemons, grate their rind, squeeze them and put the juice and the rind in Continue reading

Ahi Tuna with pineapple salsa

It’s Friday and it’s Lent. Not that I need religious reasons to eat fish, but it makes me feel good to respect the traditions I grew up with.
The only essential ingredient is freshness because when you cook seafood, the simpler its recipe the better. Wild Ahi tuna is so good that it would be a sacrilege to ruin it by overcooking it or overpowering its delicate taste with heavy sauces. That’s why I love this combination of tropical fruit and Ahi tuna.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 people)  A  B  Gf

  •  4 Ahi tuna steaks – 6 oz. each
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 4 Tbsp. Evoo
  • Freshly ground sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground Continue reading

Easy Shrimp Tacos

Looking for an idea for an easy lunch? You’ve found it in this quick, fresh, and tasty taco.
Impromptu dinner with friends? Double or triple the doses and surprise them with this yummy, yet simple, dish.
I always keep some home-made mayonnaise in my fridge, some frozen shrimp or salmon in my freezer and a package of tortillas in my pantry to make a meal-in-minutes like this one, definitely one of my favorites.
If you can’t eat shrimp, substitute with salmon.
All the other ingredients are raw. Some assembling required.


Ingredients:

(for 2 people)  A  Gf

6 oz. of frozen shrimp (or fresh, cooked salmon)
2 organic white corn Tortillas*
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper
1 pink grapefruit
2 Tbsp. home-made mayonnaise(see my recipe)
a few drops of organic ketchup
1 small avocado
1 Tbsp. lime juice
a few leaves of lettuce
1 pinch of salt
pepper to taste

Thaw the shrimp at room temperature. Bring a pot of water to a full boil and cook the shrimp for a couple of minutes, after rinsing them with cold water. Continue reading

Mediterranean salmon

Ingredients:

(for 6 people)  A  B  Gf

  • 1 big fillet of wild salmon, approx. 2 lb.
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 4 big ripe tomatoes
  • a few leaves of basil (10-12)
  • ½ cup of Kalamata olives
  • 2 Tablespoons of capers
  • 7 Tablespoons of EVOO
  • Himalayan salt
  • Black pepper

Preheat the oven at 380F.
Wash the basil and pat it dry with a paper towel. Wash the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Peel the onions Continue reading

Salmon cakes with caper sauce*

Ingredients:

(serves 2)  A  B  Gf

  • 6 to 8 oz. of raw salmon, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of ground walnuts**
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Caper sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp. homemade mayonnaise (see my recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp. EVOO

Mix the salmon cake ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour. Mix the caper sauce in a small bowl. Continue reading