Before anyone out there can call me out on it, I'll point it out myself. I never made a dessert from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, so how can I be moving on to a new region? Well, I did make an attend at a dessert from Friuli, but to be honest it came out like hell. So, this weekend I promise to make a second attempt. i thought about scrapping it altogether and only doing 3 dishes from Friuli, but the guilt overpowered me. So check back this weekend or early next week for that missing dessert!
In the meantime, I'm going to keep things moving along with the next region. I thought about pushing back the start for the Veneto region until that blasted dessert from last week was finally done, but decided that had disaster written all over it. It's like skipping a day at the gym. You convince yourself that you will go extra later in the week to make up for it, but really what happens is that your whole routine gets sidetracked and your next gym trip turns into you sitting on the couch with a bag of chips watching 90210 reruns on Soap Net. (This is just a guess...)
So, I decided to push forward into the region of Veneto. This region in the Northeast of Italy is best known for the dazzling city of Venice. Now, I have heard plenty of complaints about Venice, particularly about the city's sanitary condition. Personally, I loved my time here. I didn't find it any dirtier than major cities in the US (although in all fairness, I can see why the hundreds of pigeons that congregate in Piazza San Marco would gross out some people).
To me, the city screams mystique. The winding, narrow streets that are lined with storefronts displaying their masks for carnevale remind me of something out of the movie Labyrinth.
But, I digress. This blog is about food after all, right? To be perfectly honest, of all of the things that impressed me about Venice, the food was not one of them. Without a doubt, there are tons of fantastic restaurants in Venice that highlight the dishes of the region. However, I only spent 2 days in Venice, and didn't have much time to really search for such places. What I found was that there (in my opinion), are more tourist-sucking restaurants in Venice than I found in Rome. I mean, seriuosly, $12 Euro for a plate of penne? When most restaurants in Italy give you a 5 course meal for $15 Euro, that is a scam. So for me, it is a lot of fun to research and discover the true culinary taste of Venice, and all of Veneto, since it is the only place that I have been to in Italy where I really felt like I didn't get an idea of the regional flavor during my visit.
As I'm sure isn't a surprise to anyone, because of it's place on the Adriatic, much of the food from Veneto focuses on seafood. For dinner last night, I made Scallops Venetian Style, or Capesante alla Veneziana. This is a super simple appetizer to make. It has practically no prep time, and cooks in 5 minutes. Can't ask for much more than that.
Scallops Venetian Style
Adapted from Big Oven
-Serves 4 as an antipasto-
1 pound scallops
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Wash scallops under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the scallops, garlic, salt and pepper. Let cook 5-6 minutes, or until the scallops begin to get a golden brown crust.
- Pour in the lemon juice and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately on a warm plate.
If you want to get extra fancy with the presentation of this dish, you can do the same thing that I recommended for Granzevola alla Triestina and find some scallop shells to use as mini plates for your antipasto. For me though, eating these right out of the pan with Ryan while cooking the rest of our dinner was just fine!
Ryan's rating of Scallops Venetian Style - 5.