Classic carpaccio is made with thinly sliced raw beef, Parmesan cheese shavings and olive oil. The dish was "invented" by Giuseppe Cipriani, owner of Harry's Bar, located near the beginning of the Grand Canale in Venice.
This bar had famous regulars, such as Ernest Hemmingway. The story goes that another regular, a countess with anemia, was prescribed to eat raw meat. Cipriani came up with this dish and named it after the 16th century painter Vittore Carpaccio. Wikipedia tells us that the reason for this was that at the time there was an exhibition of this painter's work.
Since, many variations have seen the light. Not only with beef, but also with veal or various sorts of fish. Here is a vegetarian one with beetroot as the main ingredient.
- 4 uncooked beetroot
- Rocket salad (good handful)
- Nice goat cheese (150 grams)
- Some shavings of Parmesan cheese
- Pine tree nuts
- Balsamic vinegar
- Good quality olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper.
This vegetarian variety with beetroot is simple to prepare. If you think you will be pressed for time, you can complete step 1 a day ahead of the meal.
- Without peeling, cook the beetroot in the oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit). Use a skewer to check the doneness of the beetroot. Don't overcook, as this will make the rest of the process harder. The benefit of cooking beetroot in the skin is that they will retain the maximum color and taste.
- Let the beetroot cool down completely. Peel when cold. The skin should come off easily.
- Using a mandolin (if you have one; if not, you can just use a knife), cut the beetroot in thin slices; the thinner, the better.
- Spray or drizzle a large plate with some balsamic vinegar.
- Place the slices of beetroot on the plate in a circle, near the edge of the plate, leaving the middle of the plate free. Sprinkle with some course sea salt.
- Roast some pine nuts in a skillet (do not use oil) until golden.
- Put a handful of rocket in a bowl. Sprinkle with good quality olive oil and make sure all the leaves are covered. Season with freshly ground black pepper; mixing well again.
- Place the rocket in the middle of the carpaccio plate.
- Take the goat cheese, break up in little chunks and distribute evenly on top of the beetroot.
- Add the shavings of Parmesan.
- Finish off with a good drizzle of olive oil over the beetroot.