Use fresh, seasonal vegetables to make this Pinzimonio starter a summertime stunner…
You could barely call this a recipe, pinzimonio is more of an ensemble. Yet, it is a dish widely enjoyed in Italy, especially at the height of summer when vegetables are at their best.
The joy of this dish is in the selection. Take time to choose the best, most flavoursome vegetables, and add a little artistic care to the presentation – it always pays dividends.
Italian markets are a wonderful place to source amazing vegetables, or you could even grown your own. You don’t need much space to grow your own vegetables – a few pots on the patio, even a window box will do.
Pinzimonio is simply a great dish for sharing with friends over a bottle of wine as the sun goes down.
➤ SERVES 4 or more
➤ PREPARATION 30 minutes
➤ COOKING 10 minutes
FOR THE PINZIMONIO
- A selection of vegetables, entirely of your choice. (Belgian endive, carrots, peppers, radishes, tomatoes, baby courgettes, celery, fennel, all work well)
FOR THE SAUCES
- 150g tinned cannellini beans
- 150g tinned chickpeas
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 150ml extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small hot chilli pepper
- 1 tin chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Wash the vegetables, allow them to dry, and simply cut and slice. You can leave radishes and baby carrots, etc, whole.
- For the bean sauce, place the beans, chickpeas, one clove of garlic and 50ml of olive oil into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper.
- For the tomato sauce, chop a clove of garlic and the chilli pepper and fry lightly in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, a teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken and reduce. Allow to cool before serving.
- For the olive oil dip, I use a measuring jug with a lid. Crush and chop a clove of garlic, add extra virgin olive oil (depending on how many people you are serving), the vinegar and a good pinch of salt. Place on the lid and give it a good shake! Taste for seasoning before you serve.
Recipe and photo by Mario Matassa
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