Vittore Carpaccio and my courgette carpaccio

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Easter 2013 106Today Carpaccio is the international name of a typical Italian dish made with raw meat (beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna). Usually sliced thinly or pounded thin and served mainly as an appetizer. The dish was proposed with this name for the first time in Venice, at the time of an exhibition dedicated to Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio (1465 – 1525/1526) which took place around 1950.

The diffusion and the name of this typical dish from Piedmont called the “Carne cruda all’Albese” (which was considered only a starter and never a main course) is due to Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, who prepared the dish for the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo when he learned that the doctors had recommended that she had to eat raw meat. Inspired by the paintings by Vittore Carpaccio– the Venetian painter known for the tones of his reds and whites – composed the dish that today we all know by the name of “Carpaccio”.

The typical Piedmont Carpaccio is made with very thin slices of beef meat placed on a dish with a marinade made with lemon, olive oil and with shavings of white truffle or parmesan cheese. Today the typical Italian Carpaccio’s preparations are varied but usually they are prepared serving the thin slices of meat with olive oil, lemon, shavings of parmesan cheese on a bed of arugula.

The meat used for Carpaccio is beef sirloin, a cut tastier than the fillet. Since this is a dish best served raw, the meat must be fresh. Also in the Piedmont tradition, Carpaccio made with minced meat and garlic, the so-called “Carne cruda”.

Today the term Carpaccio is used for any preparation made with thinly sliced raw meat, fish or vegetables (usually seasoned with lemon, or vinegar, olive oil, salt and grounded pepper) or fruit.The spring is late this year but luckily the supermarkets are full of fresh vegetables.

I wanted to try the vegetable version of the carpaccio and my choice  fell on the courgette

Here is the recipe

Courgette carpaccio

Ingredients: 2 green or yellow  courgettes, 1 dl of good olive oil , a handful of rocket salad, a handful of parmesan shavings, 5-8 capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper, balsamico

slice or grate the courgettes finely and arrange  them on a plate. Salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare olive oil dressing, add lemon  juice (half) to oliva oil. Mix well.

Pour oliva mixture over courgette slices. Scatter some chopped capers on top and bestrew with parmesan.

Decorate with rocket salad sprinkled with balsamico.



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