Crafting a CarpaccioBy Hannah Robertson
January 23, 2019
At Ritrovo we have always emphasized the importance of simple local raw materials, seasonal produce and regional specialty ingredients. These are the foundations of the Italian way of eating, and our way of thinking.
While putting together a light appetizer of bresaola carpaccio last week, we were reminded that carpaccio is one of the Italian dishes that best displays this approach.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what carpaccio is, in its most traditional form it is thinly sliced raw beef seasoned simply and served with lightly dressed arugula, capers and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. This classic can be reinterpreted into an endless array of contemporary versions with the common thread being fresh ingredients and simple dressings. Even though a classic carpaccio must be made with a thinly sliced raw protein to act as the base, co-founder of Ritrovo Ilyse Rathet concisely reinterprets the concept of this dish more broadly as: “carpaccio is a flat salad” and the ingredients are only limited by your imagination and the bounty of fresh raw materials available to you.
For our recent version of the classic we placed a simple layer of thinly sliced cured beef (bresaola) on a salad plate, topped this with shaved fennel, arugula leaves, and sprinkled a pinch of aromatic, bresaola-friendly Salt & Salute Sale Digestivo over the top. To finish we added a drizzle of Organic Raspberry Balsamic and Casina Rossa Extra Virgin Olive Oil. With a flute of prosecco at its side, we had a perfect antipasto on our table in under 5 minutes.
There a several stories behind how this dish got its name dating back to 1950. One goes like this; Giuseppe Cipriano, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, invented the dish for the countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, when he learned that her doctors had recommended she eat raw meat. The dish was named carpaccio after Vittore Carpaccio, the Venetian painter known for often using red and white colors in his work.
Other carpaccio ideas come from eating while travelling in Italy and Slovenia. When there we often order a carpaccio as a first course to see what our in-country chefs have to offer and to delight in how well carpaccio can pair with a simple white or sparkling wine.
In Slovenia, nothing tastes better than a raw branzino carpaccio simply seasoned with Piran sea salt and local extra virgin olive oil.
Even a plate of sliced tomatoes, drizzled with Marino Organic olive oil, over which a flutter of arugula leaves has been dropped, along with a touch of grated pecorino cheese, becomes an improvised capraccio. A glass of Sicilian Inzolia white wine is a perfect happy hour compliment. Your imagination and the simplicity of the seasonal ingredients and selected Ritrovo condiments you use are your parameters.
Over the years, we have proposed other carpaccio recipes with Ritrovo products, to help our customers keep it simple, the Ritrovo way.
Read on for a few of our favorite stand by traditional and contemporary preparations:
Living in the Pacific Northwest we are very fortunate to have at our fingertips amazing fresh seafood. Taking the inspiration from our local we created this Dungeness Crab sourced locally from Pikes Place Seafood.
½ cup Dungeness Crab, freshly cooked
½ cup Arugula
¼ bulb Fennel, thinly sliced
2 Small Rainbow Carrots, shaved into strips
¼ cup Celery Root, shaved into strips
¼ cup Micro Greens
1.5 Tbsp Ritrovo Citrus Balsamic
2.5 Tbsp Casina Rossa Lemon EVOO
1 tsp Lemon juice
2 Oranges, supremed
TT Salt & Pepper
To finish: Piranske Soline Fiore di Sale and Michele Ferrante Culinary Orange Peel Powder
Season the Dungeness Crab with 1 tsp Casina Rossa Lemon Olive Oil, ½ tsp lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together in a bowl the arugula, thinly shave Fennel, carrots, and celery root. Dress the mixture with Ritrovo Citrus Balsamic, the remaining Casina Rossa Lemon Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Plate the Dungeness crab first followed by the dressed arugula and shaved veggies, top this with the micro greens and supremed oranges, and finish the plate with a sprinkle of Michele Ferrante’s Culinary Orange Peel Powder and Piranske Soline Fiore Di Sale. Enjoy!
Casina Rossa Mushroom Mix Carpaccio
A challenge of traditional preparations is bringing the vegetables that are only available during certain seasons. A way to extend these fleeting seasons is displayed through a tradition preservation technique called “sotto olio” or “beneath oil” these jarred vegetables are packed in natural extra virgin olive oil. They work well with a variety of greens and act as a perfect complement of balsamics to create a balanced appetizer dish.
One jar Casina Rossa mushroom mix
1 cup fresh baby greens
¼ cup aged pecorino cheese, shaved with a microplane
Ritrovo Selections Organic Apple Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Empty the jar of mushroom mix onto a serving platter. Chop greens into shreds and sprinkle thinly over the mushroom mix. Scatter pecorino flakes over the top of the greens and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Serve over toasted polenta, if desired. Or serve on crisp flat crackers or flatbread.
Radici of Tuscany Artichoke Carpaccio
The very first experience Ilyse had with the Artichoke Carpaccio was made with fresh, raw, purple artichokes in Perugia. The taste of that dish has stayed fresh and memorable ! Below is the more everyday version using Radici of Tuscany jarred artichokes.
One jar Radici of Tuscany artichoke hearts
One cup fresh arugula leaves
¼ cup Mannucci-Droandi DOP Chianti Classico Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Shaved Parmeggiano Reggiano Cheese
Maletti Aged Balsamic Vinegar, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Drain artichoke hearts and remove from jar. Slice very thinly. Arrange slices, one layer thick, on a serving platter.
Chop arugula in fine strips and spread over artichoke slices, so that first layer is mostly covered. Drizzle
olive oil over top, then balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.
These three recipes have been very popular over the years with our customers as they are simple to make and showcase well the Ritrovo way of preparing Italian dishes as well as the bold flavors and quality of our products.
From other chefs, here are two other examples of carpaccio recipes, from classic with bresaola to decadent with foie gras, to show how far this concept can go in your kitchen.