Fritto Misto (Mixed Fried Seafood and Vegetables)
This recipe for this Venetian classic was shared with us by Al Covo, the restaurant where we had the best fritto misto in Venice.
Yield: serves 4
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- Sparkling mineral water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 lb. whole small shrimp, peeled
- 1⁄4 lb. sole filet, cut into 2" × 3" pieces
- 1⁄4 lb. squid, cleaned and cut into rings and tentacle pieces
- 1⁄4 lb. bay scallops
- Peanut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- 1⁄4 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, seeded, and sliced into strips
- 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced
- Mix cornstarch and ⅓ cup of each flour with 1 cup of sparkling water until it reaches the consistency of a thin batter, adding more water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Chill shrimp, sole, and squid together in one bowl of ice water and scallops in another.
- Preheat oven to lowest setting. Pour equal amounts of peanut and grapeseed oil into a large, heavy skillet to a depth of 2". Heat over high heat until hot but not smoking. Mix together remaining all-purpose and cake flours. Drain shrimp, sole, and squid and dredge in flour. Fry in batches until seafood is crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then transfer to oven to keep warm. Drain scallops, dredge in flour, and fry until crisp, about 1 ½ minutes. Drain and transfer to oven.
- Dip vegetables into reserved batter and fry in batches until crisp, about 2 minutes. Combine vegetables and seafood on a platter, sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon wedges, if you like.