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.

 

 

Beets and feta salad

IMG_4793Ingredients:

(serves 4)  F  W  B  V  Gf

  • 1 bag of organic arugula
  • 2 red beets (cooked)
  • 1 fennel
  • 3 oz. of Feta cheese
  • ¼ cup of roasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

  •  2 tsps. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. of  organic honey
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt (to taste, optional)
  • Pepper (to taste, optional)

Trim the leaves from the beets, wash the beets, scrubbing away any dirt, and leave them wet. Wrap them in foil and place them on a cookie sheet. Cook in the oven at 400F for 45/50 minutes. Once cooled, peel them by removing the outer skin with a knife and cut them into small cubes.
Rinse the organic arugula and arrange it on four serving dishes. Cut the Feta cheese into small pieces; arrange these two ingredients on the arugula, together with the pumpkin seeds.
Trim the fennel stalks and wash the bulb. Cut it in half lengthwise and slice it thinly, starting from where you removed the stalks and discarding the hard root end.
Arrange some fennel on each salad.
In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing on the salad.

Lentils Salad *

This salad can be eaten warm or cold.
Instead of lentils, you can also use black-eyed peas, soybeans, chickpeas, etc.
It gets particularly high in proteins when you mix two varieties of legumes and rice, for example lentils with rice and kidney beans with chickpeas.
In the summer the dried herbs can be replaced with a handful of fresh basil or cilantro.
In the wintertime, some chopped rosemary adds a warmer taste to this salad.

Ingredients:

(serves 2)  A  V  Gf  B

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cucumber or 1 zucchini squash
  • 6-8 dried tomatoes

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Tamari
  • 1-2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp. Evoo
  • Salt, pepper, turmeric, curry powder, dried herbs

Rinse the lentil and soak them for about 12 hours. Then rinse them again and cook for 20 minutes in vegetable broth, stirring occasionally and adding some water if necessary.
After 10  minutes, add the dried tomatoes and stir.
Transfer the cooked lentils into a serving bowl and stir in a grated cucumber or a grated zucchini squash.
Instead of the grated vegetables you can add a diced fresh tomato or bell pepper.
Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, pour over salad, toss and serve.

* Recipe by Sonja Bachus

Citrus salad *

Ingredients:

(serves 4)  A  V  Gf  B

  • 5 oz.  lamb’s lettuce 
(mache)
  • 4 oz. Belgian endive
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 6 dates
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 Tbsp. toasted walnuts

For the salad dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash lettuce and Belgian endive with plenty of cold water, several times, and spin dry in a salad spinner.
Cut Belgian endive into thin strips. Roast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat, without any oil.
Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and cut the flesh into cubes. Cut the dates into strips. Peel the grapefruit and the oranges with a sharp knife, removing also all the white skin.

Remove the sections from the internal skin and arrange them on the border of each serving plate.

Place the lamb’s lettuce on the plates, together with the endive and all the other ingredients.
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad.

*  Recipe by Sonja Bachus

Grilled Zucchini

Simple and easy, this side dish is perfect with any entrée and for any vegetarian meal.
For a tasty lunch, make a Panini with a little olive oil on the bread, fresh goat cheese and grilled zucchini.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)  Sp  Sr  V  B  Gf

4 medium zucchini
3 Tbsp. Evoo
2 Tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of oregano

Pre-heat your barbecue to medium. If you don’t have a berbecue, use a grill pan or a cast iron skillet. It will take longer because you can cook only a few slices at a time, but the result is equally good.
Wash the zucchini and slice them lengthwise, about ¼ inch thick.
Grill them on both sides until they start looking translucent, about 4 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other.
Arrange on a serving plate; mix the Evoo, balsamic vinegar, salt and oregano, and pour on the grilled zucchini.

Baby Spinach salad with Granny Smith Apples and Roquefort

In cuisine as in relationships, sometimes opposites attract and the connection works miraculously well, like in this salad, where each ingredient balances the other two.
The tanginess of Granny Smith apples fuses with the sweetness of baby spinach, thanks to a touch of saltiness from the Roquefort cheese.
In dietary terms, it’s a wonderful mix of super foods, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.
No matter if you eat it for its nutritional value or for its taste, it’s going to be love at first bite. Guaranteed.

 

Ingredients:

(serves 4)  A  V  B  Gf

  • 12 oz. organic baby spinach
  • 2 oz. Roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 2 organic Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup of shelled walnuts

For the dressing:

  • 4-5 Tbsp. of Evoo
  • 2 Tbsp. of Port or Sherry wine
  • 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Wash the baby spinach and dry them in a salad spinner. Transfer to a bowl; add the walnuts and dress with the dressing. Toss the spinach and arrange them in the center of the serving plates.
Wash and dry the apples, and slice them thinly; arrange them on top of the spinach, leaving some room in the middle, where you will place the Roquefort cheese.

Marinated Zucchini

Yesterday I went to Modesto and I discovered – by pure chance – Greens Market. While I was waiting at a traffic light, I was captivated by the colorful logo on a delivery van.  Since the name of the company was promising, I immediately googled it – well, as soon as I stopped 🙂
A glance at their website was all it took to decide to make a detour from my errands to check it out.
I love to support vendors that share my ideas and principles and I must say that Greens Market was well worth my foray: what a gem of a store!
I bought cheese, fresh eggs and produce – all from local farms – but I would have liked to buy half of the products they carry.
So, if you leave in or near Modesto, definitely pay a visit to Greens Market.
Since demand and supply go hand in hand and most companies know that it’s a good business practice to respond to customer choices, please buy your groceries in stores whose suppliers are conscientious farmers.
If enough buyers made the effort to support their local organic producers, the chances to get food of better quality will increase for everybody.

Did I mention that I bought some beautiful organic zucchini? And since the peppermint in my garden is already three inches tall, tonight I’m going to make Marinated Zucchini.
My husband loves this recipe because he finds it “refreshing”, whereas I like its simplicity and the fact that zucchini are low in calories.

*Recipe by Rossana Giacobelli

 Ingredients:

(Serves 4)  Sp  Sr  V  B

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. organic white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tsp. organic sugar
  • ¼ cup Evoo
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 30 leaves of peppermint

Slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandolin and arrange them in layers in a shallow container, putting the mint leaves between the layers.
Make the marinade by mixing the lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. vinegar, 1 heaping tsp. of sugar, ¼ cup Evoo, and salt to taste. Whisk the marinade with a fork until it becomes creamy, then pour it over the zucchini.
Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Carrot Salad

As you might have noticed, at the beginning of the week I’m in an eat-your-veggies mood. I cannot say if it’s because I feel renewed after the weekend (and therefore more inclined to follow my healthy-eating resolutions) or because I feel guilty of the previous Saturday culinary indulgences. Anyway, what I’m very sure of is that I can only benefit from a diet rich in vegetables.
I love carrots – for their taste and for the color they add to my plate – but they are high in sugars and that’s why I use them sparingly. However, in this season they are too good to pass: tender and juicy, just they way you would like them to be year-round.
Carrots are also rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and β-carotene (that our body metabolizes into Vitamin A) and therefore important in our diet.

Here are two quick and easy recipes with carrots.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 people)  Sp  V  B  Gf

  • 6 organic carrots
  • 3 Tbsp. of Evoo
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • ¼ cup roasted pine nuts
  • salt
  • pepper

Soak the raisins in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and peel the carrots with a potato peeler, cut them in big pieces and julienne them.
Squeeze the lemon, mix it with Evoo, salt and pepper.
Drain the raisins, pat them dry with a paper towel, and add them to the carrots, together with the roasted pine nuts. Pour the dressing on the carrots, toss and serve.

Curry Carrots

Ingredients:

(serves 4 people)  Sp  V  B  Gf

  • 1 ½ lb. organic carrots
  • 4 Tbsp. of Evoo
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat the oven at 420 F.
Line a baking pan with foil. Wash, trim and peel the carrots.
Toss the carrots in 2 Tbsp. Evoo and coat them evenly. Spread the carrots on the foil-lined baking pan, add salt and pepper, and roast them for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the curry powder with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of Evoo, remove the carrots from the oven and, with a small brush, coat them with the curried oil.
Return to the oven and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Celery Root Salad

Celery root, or Celeriac, is rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus.
Although very simple, this salad is always a success for its originality and its fresh but intriguing taste. To make it richer, add some chopped walnuts to it.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

(serves 4 people)  A  V  B  Gf

  • 1 celery root
  • 3 Tbsp. of Evoo
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 oz. of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, shaved
  • salt
  • pepper

Peel the celery root with a potato peeler, cut it in half and slice it thinly with the potato peeler.
Squeeze the lemon, pour it on the sliced celery root and toss. Wash the central, tender leaves of the celery root, dry them, chop them finely and add them to your salad.
Shave the cheese on top of the celery; add salt, pepper and Evoo, toss and serve.