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Fritto Misto With Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce

  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 egg yolks*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or hot paprika
  • 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons Essence, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 pound whole squid, well rinsed, or larger squid cut into 1-inch rings
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and heads removed
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 small beet, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 small red pepper, stem, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup very finely grated pecorino Romano


  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.
  • Prepare the dipping sauce by combining the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic, and mustard in the bowl of a food processor. Process on high speed for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and extra virgin olive oil and process until the mixture becomes a smooth emulsion. Add the salt and cayenne, and adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer to a decorative bowl and refrigerate until needed.
  • In a heavy 6-quart pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour and Essence. In batches, add the squid and shrimp and toss to coat. Shake to remove any excess.
  • In batches, add the squid and shrimp to the oil and cook until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining ingredients.
  • Toss the vegetables in batches in the seasoned flour and add to the oil, ensuring that the oil has returned to 350 degrees F before cooking each batch. Cook the vegetables until crisp and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels, and place in the oven as needed while cooking the remaining vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with grated cheese.
  • Serve the fritto misto hot on a large platter with the lemon-garlic dipping sauce.
  • *RAW EGG WARNING The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of foodborne illness.… Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell…"