Eat Ate by Guy Mirabella, Photographer: Earl Carter (Chronicle Books, 2009) is a 2010 James Beard book awards finalist in the Photograph category. For a list of all the finalists check out the Project Foodie James Beard Finalists' Guide.
Even before opening Guy Mirabella's new book, Eat Ate, you know it's going to be something special. The book is tall and skinny, the cover jacket only covers part of the book and the lettering on the cover is printed in raised text. Right there, we have something that starts out unique.
The uniqueness continues throughout, from the recipes themselves to the photography and the personal stories told by Mirabella. I didn't expect to find chapters on appetizers, followed by main courses, and then desserts, that just wouldn't feel right. What Mirabella has done is provide us with chapters labeled as Extravagance, Generosity, Love, Tradition, Life, and Food. Each sprinkled with approachable recipes that are true to his Sicilian roots.
From the Extravagance chapter comes Egg, White Anchovies and Pancetta Salad. Except for the somewhat unusual white anchovies, there’s nothing extravagant about any of the ingredients. Though when it’s all put together, it becomes a wonderful (and extravagant) salad that is the perfect example of the recipes throughout the rest of the book.
Win a copy of Eat Ate! - details
Egg, White Anchovies and Pancetta Salad
From Eat Ate by Guy Mirabella, Photographer: Earl Carter (Chronicle Books, 2009)
Cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, hazelnuts - the words sound so lovely and warm on their own, but when combined they become dukkah, a word that always reminds me of Al Pacino saying 'Hooo-ahhh!' in the film Scent of a Woman. Teamed with perfectly cooked eggs, crisp peppery arugula, silky white anchovies from Sicily and freshly sliced smoky pancetta, it makes a delightful aromatic and extravagant celebration of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors.
White anchovies are fillets marinated in vinegar and oil - they are more subtle than their salted counterparts, and have a fresh tang from the vinegar. You can find them in good delis.
- 4 slices day-old sourdough
- 8 slices mild pancetta
- 1 large red capsicum
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 4 eggs (or 8 quail eggs)
- 8 white anchovies
- 4 large handfuls of arugula
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of parsley
- 8 chives, cut into 2 cm lengths
- 4 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked
- 1 tablespoon dukkah (Cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, hazelnuts)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Break the bread into bite-sized pieces and place on a tray. Bake the pieces, moving them around occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until golden. Tip them into a large bowl and then lay the pancetta slices on the tray and bake for about 10 minutes until crisp.
Heat the grill of a barbecue or a grill pan and cook the capsicum, turning it regularly, until blackened all over (you can also do this in the oven). Remove from the heat and let it cool a little, then peel off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Cut or tear the flesh into thin strips.
For the dressing, combine the oil, lemon zest and juice in a jar with a lid and shake.
Fill a saucepan with around 2 ½ inches of water. Add the vinegar and bring the water to a gentle simmer. In a small bowl crack the first egg. Gently swirl the simmering water and slide the egg in. Repeat with the remaining eggs and poach them all for about 4 minutes, or until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain. If using quail eggs boil whole for 3 minutes.
Put the pancetta, capsicum, anchovies and arugula into the bowl with the bread. Pour over the dressing and toss gently. Divide between serving plates and top each salad with an egg (or halved quail eggs). Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, herbs and dukkah and serve while the eggs are still warm.
Win a copy of Eat Ate
The registered Project Foodie user that leaves the most memorable or creative comment below will win a copy of Eat Ate. Keep the comments clean and relevant - tell us what attracts you to Eat Ate and/or what you feel makes this book award-worthy and we'll select one to be the winner of Eat Ate.
Please note that you must be registered to enter this giveaway and upon winning provide a US postal address for us to ship Eat Ate to. We'll announce the winner on May 2nd.
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Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.