Eat like an Italian: pinzimonio (crudités)

Anyone who’s ever visited an Italian home for lunch or dinner knows the magical art of pinzimonio, Italian for crudités.

In Italy, pinzimonio is typically served before a meal when guests arrive and consists of peeled and sliced carrots and celery (all carefully washed and dried, of course), trimmed radishes, sliced fennel, and — when in season — ripe tomato wedges.

But the key to GREAT pinzimonio is the quality of the olive oil dip.

Thanks to its supreme balance of fruity, nutty, and savory flavors, Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil is often considered the best for pinzimonio. But the choice in olive can vary depending on taste: Tuscan for an earthier flavor; Sicilian for a spicier flavor. The important thing is that the olive oil be extra-virgin and the best quality possible.

Using a whisk, emulsify a gentle kiss of vineyard, a dash of sea salt (ideally Sicilian), and just a touch of freshly cracked pepper to make the perfect dipping sauce for your pinzimonio.

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