Simply fried assorted seafood is a popular appetizer all over coastal Italy—and especially along the shores of the Adriatic.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 2 cups flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1⁄2 lb. whitebait or smelts, cleaned
- 3⁄4 lb. squid or cuttlefish bodies, cleaned and cut into 1” rings
- 1⁄4 lb. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 lemons, cut in wedges
- Place flour in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Pour milk into a separate bowl. Heat about 3” oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk, a few pieces at a time, then dredge in flour. Repeat process, dipping squid and shrimp first in milk, then in flour.
- Shake excess flour from fish and seafood, then fry in batches, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and then transfer to a large platter. Garnish with arugula and serve with lemon wedges.