lunedì 25 giugno 2012


Appetizer - can be vegetarian and lactose free (read notes below)

3 14-oz Italian CECI (chickpeas)
1 garlic clove (optional)
1/4 cup parsley, freshly chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp Parmigiano, grated
2 tbsp Italian plain breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped Prosciutto
Salt - Pepper - Extra virgin olive oil

It's great with Insalata russa (Russian salad - not sure of the origin of the name).

Italian sweet, tender peas
diced carrots and potatoes

First of all prepare the salad: boil potatoes and carrots until soft, drain and rinse tender, sweet Italian peas and spread on towel to dry them.

Prepare mayo. Put in the immersion blender glass (or in a tall container) in this order:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 egg, 2-3 pinches of salt and 2-3 tsp of white wine vinegar.

Immerse the blender and start blending for 7-8 seconds, then slowly lit it to combine all other ingredients. Give a couple more pulses and your mayo is ready. It takes about 15 seconds.

Combine the vegetables, at room temperature, with the mayo and refrigerate.

Now prepare the fritters.

Drain and rinse ceci. Arrange them in a food processor with the garlic and blend.

Transfer to a bowl and add Parmigiano, parsley, egg and prosciutto; mix well to combine. If it's too soft, add breadcrumbs.

Form balls as big as walnuts, then flatten them a little. Dredge in breadcrubs.

In a big non-stick skillet, warm up olive oil then sautee fritters in it until golden on both sides.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

- For a vegetarian dish, avoid prosciutto. For a lactose free dish avoid parmigiano and substitute with as much breadcrumbs.
- Mayo with olive oil tends to be more savory than the one you buy. You can use 2/3 cup of olive oil and 1/3 cup of sunflower oil.
- You can also add a few tbsp of greek plain yougurt to your mayo in order to make it lighter.
- If you don't like vinegar, use same quantity of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

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