Carpaccio is a traditional Italian dish prepared using raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin. The meat is usually arranged in a single layer on a plate and drizzled with a dressing, often made with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Sometimes, additional ingredients like capers, shaved Parmesan cheese, arugula, or mustard sauce are added for flavor and garnish. Fish carpaccio may also include ingredients like citrus fruits, herbs, or even truffle oil for added taste. This easy-to-prepare dish is usually consumed raw and served as an appetizer.
Carpaccio is a dish that showcases the quality and freshness of the main ingredient, and the thin slices allow the dressing and accompanying flavors to permeate the meat or fish.
There are several variations of carpaccio such as seafood carpaccio and vegetable carpaccio. Carpaccio can be found in most restaurants in Venice and across northern Italy. It is usually accompanied by either sauces or a little extra-virgin olive oil.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, is credited with inventing carpaccio in 1963. However, it was later, during the second half of the twentieth century, that this dish became widely popular.
It is named after the famous Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio, known for his vivid use of colors, particularly red tones resembling the dish. This culinary creation quickly gained popularity due to its unique presentation and delicate flavors.
Traditionally, the meat was consumed along with lemon, olive oil and white truffle or Parmesan cheese. Later, the name of this dish was extended to foods consisting of other raw meats or fish, thinly sliced and accompanied by lemon or vinegar, olive oil, salt and ground pepper, as well as fruits including mango or pineapple.
Its cultural significance lies in its association with Venetian gastronomic heritage and its representation of Italy’s culinary prowess. Carpaccio has become an iconic appetizer, celebrated internationally and often adapted to include variations with fish, seafood, or vegetables. It remains a beloved dish that embodies the artistry and passion for culinary excellence that is deeply rooted in Italian culture.
- Olive oil - 2 tbsp
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 tbsp
- Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
- Steak (tenderloin), partially frozen - 1 lb
- Baby arugula leaves - 1 cup
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - 1 oz.
- Sea salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Begin by wrapping the meat tightly in plastic wrap or butcher paper and freezing it for about 2 to 3 hours. This will help you easily slice the meat. You can also use a heavy-duty freezer bag if you don’t have plastic wrap or butcher paper.
- Now, gather all the ingredients.
- Take a small bowl and add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to it. Mix all the ingredients well.
- Next, unwrap the meat and slice the steak as thin as you can with the help of a sharp knife. This step is much easier when the meat is partially frozen or when you slice it using an electric knife.
- Take the meat slices and keep them between plastic wrap sheets. Using a rolling pin, flatten them out. You can also use a meat mallet to gently pound the meat until it becomes paper thin.
- It’s time to arrange the ingredients. Take 2 plates and place the arugula on each plate. Add the beef slices, and gently add sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Top the dish with Parmigiano shavings, then add the vinaigrette at the end as a garnish. You can also add some pine nuts, chives and accompany the dish by some rocket leaves and lemon wedges, and there you have it. Your delicious Italian carpaccio is ready to be served.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 402mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 32g