Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple Carpaccio with Hazelnuts and Golden Raisin Sauce

This may sound odd but I keep a perpetual list with recipes I want to develop. I am constantly adding ideas to the list. I say ideas because they aren’t recipes when I jot them down; they are just ingredients or concepts.

Carpaccio is something that both my husband and I have always enjoyed. If you have had the traditional version you know it is raw meat thinly sliced, dressed with a sauce and some greens. Since the main ingredient is off the list I had to think of what I was going to replace it with. I saw Tyler Florence make a zucchini carpaccio on Food 911 ages ago, but it didn’t exactly appeal to me. I couldn’t imagine zucchini would have as much flavor as red meat.

Earlier this spring I thought of apple carpaccio and didn’t get much beyond recording the idea on my list. I couldn’t quite decide if I wanted the apples to be soft (like the traditional steak) or crunchy. My husband and I decided on crunchy for the first version. The next question was what type of sauce would I use. Golden raisins are sweet, but their flavor isn’t too intense so I decided to use that. I also considered a reduction of apple cider but wanted a secondary flavor from the sauce. Hazelnuts were added because they are Italian, so of course I love them. Here is what I did.

Apple Carpaccio with Hazelnuts and Golden Raisin Sauce
Serves 2

Golden Raisin Sauce Ingredients:

¼ cup golden raisins, soaked in filtered water for 2 hours and drained thoroughly
½ tablespoon hazelnut oil (or other neutral oil)
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider

Remaining Ingredients:

2 apples, thinly sliced on a mandolin
4 cups water
1 lemon, squeezed
¼ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped


Combine the drained golden raisins, hazelnut oil, apple cider vinegar, and apple cider in your food processor and puree until the ingredients form a thick sauce. If you want the sauce to be more “pour able” add a little more apple cider or water. Mine thickened as I worked on the apples and I should have thinned it out a little.

Squeeze the lemon into the water to create an acidulated bath for the sliced apples. Slice the apples as thinly as possible, preferably on a mandolin. Drop the sliced apples into the acidulated water and leave them there while you chopped the hazelnuts.

Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of your mezza luna and roughly chop. I use a mezza luna because it keeps the nuts from rolling off the cutting board. If you don’t have a mezza luna use a cutting bowl being careful to not let the nuts roll away. The finer you chop the nuts the easier the carpaccio is to eat.

Drain the apples and pat them dry with paper towel. Lay the apples on a serving tray or a large flat plate in a single layer overlapping the slices like shingles until the tray is full and the apples are gone. Drizzle the golden raisin sauce over the apples. Top with chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately so the apples don’t begin to oxidize. This is easier to eat if the apples are cut into bite size pieces, but it doesn’t look as pretty. I served it with a knife instead.

If you like the idea of a broken sauce you can add a little hazelnut oil to the golden raisin sauce and stir it in so the oil remains separate. It would make a pretty presentation but I thought this dish had enough fat and calories so I left it out.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 258.63
Calories From Fat (41%) - 105.84

Total Fat - 12.46g
Saturated Fat - 0.96g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 18.49mg
Potassium - 433.95mg
Total Carbohydrates -39.36g
Fiber - 5.55g
Sugar - 26.42g
Protein - 3.24g


This is a very lightly flavored dish. It is crunchy from the apples and sweet from the sauce. Hazelnuts add a nice texture to the dish. Overall I was quite pleased with this dish. Next time I may make it with soft apples to see if I prefer that version.


  1. This is pretty and is such an interesting and refined thing to serve. I'm going to keep this on my list for entertaining...the sauce sounds so good (I love apple cider; I have a special weakness for it).

  2. Rose,

    Thanks so much for the nice compliment. :)

    You can make the sauce in advance for entertaining. If you hold the apples very long in the acidulated water they will become soft (which may not be bad). I was also thinking a nice tuft of lightly dressing micro greens or baby arugula in the center of the platter would be nice (but didn't have any on hand).

    I love apple cider too. Such a wonderful flavor punch. Have you tried making Italian soda with it by adding Pelligrino? I just saw it on another website (Your Vegan Mom) on Friday and tried it. It is really good. There is a link to that blog on mine if you want to check it out.


  3. I'll definitely check out the blog, sounds fun.

    What about carpaccio with persimmons? Would that work??? They're divine in flavor and have a sort of meaty fleshy texture...I'm totally new to this world of carpaccio...

  4. Rose,

    I think persimmons might work well. If you have one give it a try. While you would have to slice it with a knife the texture should be really close to steak.

    Since you need to slice the fruit, or vegetable very thinly it needs to be firm enough to hold its shape but that is the only requirement. I also have beet and fennel on my list to try as carpaccio. Asian pear would be a really nice carpaccio, but a lot like apple in terms of taste and texture. However, it could be a good mix of color on a plate with the apple. Portabello mushroom may also work but would need to have the gills removed and be sliced with a knife.

    If you try carpaccio with the persimmons please let me know how it works.


  5. That looks wonderful! I'm so impressed with your experiment, it sounds like a delicious apple salad to me. I LOVE apples, I'll give this recipe a try one of this day and maybe with asian pears too, YUM!!! Thanks, Alicia!

  6. Oraphan,

    Thanks. :) The only change I would make is to thin the dressing a little so it would drizzle easier. Other than that I think this recipe is good to go. I hope you like it.



Related Posts with Thumbnails