I was at a dentist recently ~ last year in December ~ to be precise. While waiting for my turn at the waiting room I was browsing one of several magazines on the mag rack called BodyTalk. The mag talked about health issues and the human anatomy, etc. I was intrigued. And I was equally intrigued with the second last page. A recipe corner with healthy ingredients!
The one that tempted me most was this one!
The only manner to remember the ingredients of the recipe was to take a snapshot of the page 😉
And that I did!
I made this carpaccio as starter for Sunday lunch and my three guys’ eyes twinkled with delight.
Here’s my version
NOTE: The recipe was in Dutch. I tried my best to translate the words to the best of my knowledge. And by the way, in the original recipe, spelt grain, rockett leaves and Legumaise Toscane were used. I replaced those ingredients with pine nuts, fresh basil leaves and Pesto Calabrese respectively.
- 2 plump tomatoes (more than enough for my family of 4 as a starter. Original recipe called for 8!)
- 24 to 30 fresh basil leaves
- 1 red onion
- 2 cups pine nuts (lightly dry roast in a pan)
- Parmesan cheese, shaved
- 4 heap tsp Pesto Calabrese
- 8 Tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp each coarse sea salt and black peppercorns (ground with pestle & mortar)
- Wash /clean the fennel and using a mandoline, slice it thinly. Place the fennel in a clean bowl. Add 8Tbsp olive oil and juice of 1 lemon. Spice it up with 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt. Mix and let the fennel marinate in the fridge.
- Wash the tomatoes and slice them thinly as well as the red onion
- Ready to serve. Plate each serving plate with the pesto first and then assemble the carpaccio of tomatoes next. Then sprinkle some thinly sliced red onion. Distribute the marinated (pickled) fennel evenly over the spread. Grate some Parmesan cheese and add some fresh basil leaves, 6 to 7 leaves per plate. Sprinkle some pine nuts and finally drizzle extra virgin olive oil.
The colours were just stunning. Incidentally they’re the colours of the Italian flag! The taste of Meditteranean also came alive, and despite the cold winter temperature outside, the cool and refreshing platter neutralises the acidity and heat of our body.
Verdict: My first vegetarian carpaccio and definitely not my last. This is a great dish for any season. Trust me! I would consider making this as a main dish during Summer, albeit a bigger plate. I will also make my own pesto Calabrese, and substituting the fresh basil with rockett leaves.
Hasta la vista... I’ll be back!
I’m thrilled to link my first post of the New Year to Lavender and Lovage’s Cooking with Herbs January 2016: Herbs and Citrus Fruits
Happy Weekend all!