This Spring Fritto Misto is such a fun appetizer or even a great addition to a #SundaySupper or #weekdaysupper meal.
I love “vegging out” many of our favorite dishes. I always look for ways to incorporate more veggies into our Weekday Supper menu and love roasting a large tray of veggies for Sunday Supper and using the leftover veggies in dishes throughout the week. I have to admit though, I have become pretty ho-hum about my methods. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt and slow roast. Or throw them in a skillet and saute the veggies. Vegetables have become more of an afterthought. They complement our delicious steaks, the lemon roasted chicken and even the bowl of quinoa. And while we love to “veg out” our meals, vegetables are rarely the star of the show.
The minute I picked up The Vegetable Butcher, I fell in love with it. This cookbook made me look at vegetables a different way and start applying the skills of butchery to the unique anatomy of vegetables. Cara Mangini shows us how to deal with vegetables slice by slice and how to break down more than 100 vegetables for their very best use in the kitchen. This is a cookbook that I will refer to time and time again for great techniques and recipe inspiration.
I was not only inspired to try this great Spring Fritto Misto but I also tried using a vegetable that had not made it’s way into my kitchen until today. Check out my instagram as I was preparing this delicious bronzed and crispy “fried mix” of vegetables. I am embarrassed to admit that it was the first time I cooked with fennel. Let me tell you something, not only was the Fritto Misto out of this world, this will not be the last time I cook with fennel. So things may have gotten a tad messy in my kitchen but it was totally worth it. And what can I say, I was having so much fun with this recipe that I threw in some broccoli too!
Cara Mangini, who comes from a family of traditional butchers, was one of the first official “vegetable butchers” at Eataly in New York City. She is now the owner and executive chef of Little Eater, a produce-inspired restaurant, and Little Eater Produce and Provisions, an associated local and artisanal foods boutique, in Columbus, Ohio. She took away the fear of trying a new vegetable by showing me, step by step the butchery essentials to trim and wash fennel, slice fennel and cut it into half-moons, how to dice fennel along with favorite cooking methods and tips. I reserved the fennel stalks for stock and loved the suggestion to keep the raw fronds for garnish.
HERE IS THE BEST PART! I love this cookbook SO much that I am giving one away to one of my lucky followers! All you have to do is scroll down and tell me your favorite recipe using vegetables as the star of the dish.
Learn more about Cara Mangini, her journey and how two of her babies are due on the same day in this great article by our Sunday Supper Movement Editor, Stacy Rushton. You can also follow out Cara Mangini and Workman Publishing on their social channels. They both love to connect with the Sunday Supper Movement followers:
- Workman Publishing Website
- Author Website, The Little Eater
- Cara Mangini on Instagram
- Purchase The Vegetable Butcher
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup milled semolina flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- canola oil, for frying
- 6 to 8 asparagus spears, woody ends removed (avoid pencil-thin asparagus and jumbo asparagus)
- ½ small fennel bulb, halved, steam end trimmed, core intact to hold layers together, cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
- 4 ounces (about 1½ cps) sugar snap peas, tips and strings removed
- 4 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
- Flaked sea salt, for finishing
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
- Tarragon Yogurt Sauce (page 179 of The Vegetable Cookbook) optional
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Place the mixture in a shallow rectangular dish or pan that will accommodate all the vegetables shapes and sizes. Place the buttermilk in a separate but equally sized dish.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels or parchment paper and set it next to the stove.
- Pour enough canola oil in a large saucepan or deep saute pan to fill the pan about one-third full. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers: Test its readiness by dropping in one vegetable piece. It should immediately sizzle and steadily simmer around the edges.
- Working in batches, dip the vegetable pieces in the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off, then dredge them in the flour mixture. Once coated, life the vegetable pieces, gently shake off any excess flour, and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the vegetables, using tongs to turn them gently, until they are golden brown all over, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables with a spider or slotted spoon and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the finished vegetables lightly with flaked sea salt.
- Repeat until all the vegetables are cooked, adjusting the heat as needed to crisp the vegetables without burning them.
- Arrange the finished fritto misto on a platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges, and with the yogurt sauce alongside if you wish.
Check out this week’s menu. So many great recipes and the Sunday Supper Tastemakers will be giving away a copy of The Vegetable Butcher Cookbook every day for the next two weeks!
Sweet and mildly spicy peppers are pan-roasted over high heat to make you think they’ve spent time on a grill. Then they soak in vinegar, oil, garlic, and fresh basil, and are piled deliciously atop tangy goat cheese–spread toasted bread.
This bright fava mash is kept simple to ensure that the beans shine. This delicious recipe gets even easier when you make it a few days ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
This recipe takes spice cake to a whole new level. It’s amped up with parsnips and fresh ginger and balanced with the most perfect sweet-and-nutty, browned butter frosting. Serve it as a layered birthday cake with frosting in the middle and on top, or bake it into cupcakes or a more casual sheet cake. No matter how you serve it, it is sure to be a new family favorite!
Combined with the varying hues of bright green snap peas, asparagus, avocado, and torn basil, this salad is absolutely gorgeous. It is fresh and light and perfect for one of spring’s warm days or nights.
Don’t forget –> HERE IS THE BEST PART! I love this cookbook SO much that I am giving one away to one of my lucky followers! All you have to do is scroll down and leave me a comment with your favorite recipe using vegetables as the star of the dish. Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on May 9, 2016 at 12:01 am. I look forward to your veggie inspiration.
This post is sponsored by Workman Publishing Company in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.