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PhotoRecipe: Sicilian Crunch

Dear Friends & Eaters,

if you haven’t been to Sicily you are missing out! Aside from the island’s natural beauty and history, the food is to die for. It’s all about location of course: the seafood, butter orange, capers, pistachio and almonds (just to name a few) are key ingredients of the Mediterranean Diet, and nowhere in the world you can get that freshness and quality.  So if you don’t want to go to Sicily for the sightseeing you really can’t miss the food. After all, one of my favorite restaurants  La Madia, is in a little town called Licata and it truly serves the meal of a lifetime.  Back to today’s topic, Sicilian food is very big on texture, and one of the main components of the recipes is the “Crunch”. Used as a stuffing, seasoning or garnish the Sicilian Crunch is easy to make, store and use.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • 1/3 cup of almond meal (or ground almonds)
  • 1 cup of Olive Oil
  • 3 anchovies, chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of basil, tightly packed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, tightly packed and chopped
  • 1/2 of grated parmigiano (or pecorino for a sharper flavor)
  • the zest of 1 lemon

Step 1: Heat the oil and the garlic in a large skillet heat over medium heat. As soon as the garlic is golden, discard it and add the anchovies to the pan.

Step 2: When the anchovies have softened and started to melt, add the breadcrumbs and almonds. Stir the ingredients together and cook on medium heat until the bread and almonds are golden.  Keep an eye on the pan as you don’t want the ingredients to burn.

Step 3: Turn off the heat and add the herbs, lemon zest and cheese.  Stir to combine and let the crunch cool completely.

The Sicilian Crunch can be sprinkled on roasted or grilled vegetables, used as a stuffing for seafood and meat dishes (place it in the cavity of a branzino before roasting it or as the stuffing for a lang of lamb), as a binding agent for meatballs and vegetarian fauxballs (try it with zucchini, it is to die for).

I keep my Sicilian Crunch in a closed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks. I don’t recommend freezing it because the bread may get a little mushy.

Enjoy!