Pinzimonio: Play with your food!

Play with your food!

Leave it to the Italians to turn produce into whimsical fun.  Pinzimonio is a raw vegetable antipasto that can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like to make it.  In this version, long skinny vegetables are bundled, ready for dipping in olive oil seasoned with lemon juice and salt.  Serve with plenty of napkins.
Prep time:  20 minutes
Serves  4 as an appetizer or side dish.

1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
2-3 Carrots, scraped, ends removed
1/2 pound long, slender green beans
1 bunch scallions, leaves separated and reserved.
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Slice peppers and carrots into long thin spears (about 1/8 to 1/4″ wide).  Bundle a variety of spears and gently tie with scallion leaves.  Assemble these packets on a tray.

Distribute the oil and lemon juice between 4 ramekins or small bowls.  Dip a bundle into the oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and crunch.

Tip:  Scallion leaves are easier to tie if you leave them out on the counter for an hour so that the leaves lose some of their water and soften.  (This is the only recipe I can think of where I recommend a vegetable less than fresh!)

Photo and recipe by  Tod Dimmick

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