Eggplant or Zucchini Carpaccio (Carpaccio di Melanzane o Zucchine)

15 Jun

I love veggies.

It’s the one food group where I have no single dislike. And that’s hard for me, ’cause i’m really picky, as well as allergic to a lot of different foods.

But veggies? Oh they are perfect. So tasty and versatile. No weird body parts to avoid. Yum.

Thankfully, while vegetables are not often enough the protagonists of a main dish in Italy – it’s nearly always part of the meal. Vegetable dishes are often called ‘contorni’ or ‘side-dishes’.

During our trial run for posting on this blog, Mamma Angela threw together a little something that I’m going to baptize ‘Veggie Carpaccio’.

Carpaccio is the Italian word for a series of dishes where very thin slices of extremely fresh meat or fish are bathed in olive oil and or lemon juice and different aromas/spices. But today, my friends – Zucchini and Eggplant are the protagonists.

For this recipe you are going to need:

1 – Either zucchini or eggplant. Either or will work and you can make as much or as little as you like!

2 – White wine vinegar (Quality!)

3 – Olive Oil (Quality!)

4 – Garlic

5 – Fresh, Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

6  – Salt

7 – Dried red pepper (go easy on this one)

Preparation

1 – Clean and slice your veggies into flat strips, not too thick. They should be thin enough to be flexible but thick enough not to be transparent or fall apart once grilled. We’re going to grill these so they will result slightly thinner than when first cut.

Grilled Eggplant

2 – We used a skillet to grill the slices, but you can be creative with how you do this. You can even grill these in a barbecue or over a fireplace (we’ve done it!). If you are using a skillet, get it nice and hot, and grill each slice (or more at a time, if they fit). Press down on your slices with a fork to speed up the grilling process. They shouldn’t get soggy, just a few short minutes of grill time.

3 – Once you’ve got all of your slices grilled it’s really a matter of putting the ingredients together. You can use tupperware, and if you want to be fancy you can use a glass dish or tray – anything with borders you can stack the ingredients up in will work. Chop up the garlic and parsley into fine bits before using and crumble up your dried red pepper (if you are using the whole ones – the flakes will work just fine). It goes like this:

Layer of olive oil

Layer of veggies (use all of the same veggies in a single preparation – Italians don’t like to ‘mix’)

Layer of olive oil, dash of white wine vinger, sprinkling of parsley, sprinkling of garlic, a few dashes of salt, dash of red pepper

Layer of veggies

Layer of olive oil, dash of white wine vinger, sprinkling of parsley, sprinkling of garlic, dash of salt, dash of red pepper

Etc. Until you run out.

Regulate quantities according to taste. If you love red pepper, use more. If you love garlic, use more. Regulate your use of white wine vinegar.

Here’s a video of Mamma Angela in action, and a bit of Jonathan Edwards for your listening pleasure:

Mamma Angela’s Eggplant Carpaccio Recipe from Kimberly Ann Elia on Vimeo.

4 – Stick it in the fridge. Or don’t. Personally, I like this dish nice and cold. Also you’ll want to give the ingredients time to “meld” – so a few hours. In any case – this awesome ‘contorno’ lasts up to three days or more in the fridge. I’ve used the slices in sandwiches, as an aperitif, a side dish – everything. Just think that most nights, this very recipe is sitting on Mamma Angela’s dinner table as a complement to the meal!

Buon appetito!

Eggplant Carpaccio Recipe

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