Monday, June 12, 2023

Cicchetti Appetizers

Cicchetti (pronounced "chi-KET-tee") are small plates popular in Venice. They're like appetizers, but can just as easily be eaten for lunch or as a delicious snack in mid afternoon. It's said that the name derives from the Latin word ciccus, which means "little". These may be little, but they're big on flavor! We had cicchetti at a very posh (and expensive) restaurant, but the cicchetti were very reasonably priced, making it well worth our while to have stopped here. And, it was the cicchetti in the window that drew our attention, not the lunch menu. I've included the photo of the vegetarian version and a fish version that I had for lunch but, at least so far, I've only recreated the vegetarian version!


4 slices baguette, sliced on the diagonal
1 Tbs olive oil
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 red pepper, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 vertical slices sweet onion
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
several grinds of sea salt
several grinds of pepper


Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the vegetables in the olive oil, then season with garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the vegetable in the grill pan. Cook until grill marks appear, then rotate once, to make hatch marks on the vegetables. Turn the vegetables over and repeat. The finished vegetables should be cooked through, so they are soft and pliable, but not browned. Toast the baguette slices, then brush with the extra virgin olive oil. Pile some of the arugula, then arrange one slice each of the eggplant, zucchini, onion, and red pepper onto a baguette slice. Repeat with all four slices. You can anchor them with a toothpick if they're unruly!

Serves 4 as a light appetizer or 2 as a light lunch

Stealthy Cooking Tip: If you're looking to save some money, yet still enjoy incredible tastes, look for restaurants that are available to serve appetizers and drinks. We had cicchetti, followed by desserts and coffee at Oficina Ormesini. We enjoyed our food immensely, at a fraction of the cost of a full meal. 

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