Saturday, September 12, 2009

Raw Vegetables in Pinzimonio

Romans love to eat raw veggies dipped in flavored olive oil. This is typically served before the meal. The addition of lemon zest is not traditional but I think it adds nicely to the flavor. When you are flavoring the oil go a little heavy on the seasonings since it will be eaten with the veggies the flavor will not be as intense as when you taste it straight. In addition to the veggies I used you could also use radish, zucchini slices, lightly steamed green beans or broccoli.

Raw Vegetables in Pinzimonio
Serves 4

Vegetable Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
6 stalks celery, cut in half
1 English cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
2 carrots, thinly sliced on a heavy diagonal

Pinzimonio Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced or grated on a fine microplane
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
zest from 1 lemon


Combine the pinzimonio ingredients and flavor to your taste. Serve the vegetables cold from the refrigerator for maximum crunch. I provided small bowls to hold the oil for each serving.

Nutritional information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 127.52
Calories From Fat (51%) - 64.65

Total Fat - 7.32g
Saturated Fat - 1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 186.2mg
Potassium - 735.65mg
Total Carbohydrates - 14.5g
Fiber - 5.55g
Sugar - 5.81g
Protein - 2.45g


If I were making this for only my husband and I there would have been a silken tofu based dip flavored with a little olive oil to reduce the fat. However, sometimes you need to make things more like the traditional version. I used most of the same ingredients as the original but with much less olive oil. Traditional recipes call for a cup of oil for 4 servings, which I find to be absurd. No one needs 4 tablespoons of oil in an appetizer, at least not in my opinion.

Everyone enjoyed the veggie tray tonight in place of salad. If you are looking for something to do with raw veggies that is quick like salad, but different give this a try. It is surprisingly refreshing.

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