CAPPON MAGRO LIGURE, THE ORIGINAL RECIPE OF HOTEL CENOBIO DEI DOGI
Today we begin an incredible journey to discover one of the most famous and appreciated recipes of Liguria. Escorting us in this tasteful journey, Cenobio dei Dogi’s Chef Remo Gatto, who is going to reveal all the secrets and the right procedure to prepare this amazing dish.
We decided to start with a recipe that not only is a signature dish of the ancient culinary Ligurian tradition, but also one of the most loved and served at our Restaurant Il Doge: Cappon Magro.
The History of Cappon Magro
Cappon Magro is a fish recipe, a fish salad to be exact. Today this dish is considered to be a refine and scenographic, but as the name itself suggests “Magro” (thin, not fat), the origin of the dish is very different. Once Cappon Magro, was served by the Cattolic Genoese families during Lent. In those days it is not possible to eat meat, for a proper example the Cappone (a type of chicken) nor other rich courses. The name of the dish is not related to the fish “cappone” or “scorfano” (scorpionfish, in Italian the name is the same but they are not related in the origin of this dish, even if it can be used in the recipe).
The other aspect for which this dish is poor comes from the fact that was mainly prepared from the low-middle class. The fishermen and the servants were the one who enjoyed it, using leftovers o of the rich banquets of the upper classes.
Through the years, but mainly in the Baroque period, the dish became an occasion to present the dinner table with a choreographic and striking main course. This contributed to make Cappon Magro what it is today: a sophisticated and refined dish, that keeps inside its traditional taste.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- Fresh catch 800gr; scorpionfish or gurnard, gilthead bream or snapper;
- 4 prawns 200 gr;
- 6 purple shrimps 250 gr;
- 4 oysters;
- 15 mussels 150 gr;
- Glasswort (salicornia) 50 gr;
- 2 boiled eggs;
- Green beans 100 gr.;
- Zucchini 100gr;
- Carrots 100 gr.;
- Potatoes 50 gr.;
- Red beetroot 50 gr (based on the season you can also use cauliflower, viper grass, oyster plant);
- 3 gallette del marinaio (typical Genoese bread);
- E.V.O Olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt
For the sauce
- Parsley 60 gr;
- Boiled egg 30 gr;
- Stale bread crumbs 15 gr;
- Desalted anchovies 8 gr;
- Desalted caper 5 gr;
- Pickles 8 gr;
- Pine nuts 20gr;
- Garlick slices 4 gr;
- White wine vinagre 40 ml;
- E.V.O. olive oil 60 ml;
- Caster sugar 2 gr;
- White pepper in powder
Put the gallette in infusion with water and a little white vinegar the time to make them become soft, afterwards simply press them with your hands.
Boil the vegetables aside, trying to keep the crunchiness.
Cook the beetroot on the oven for 45 minutes a 185° C.
Cut the vegetables in stripes and season them with olive oil and salt.
Boil the fish, the shellfish and the oysters.
Prepare the green sauce in the mixer.
The ancient recipe, as many others in the Ligurian cuisine is done using the mortar and the pestle. In case if you prefer a more modern approach you can use a blender.
Clean the parsley, and mix all the ingredients until you have a uniform dark green sauce.
Now you can start with the dish presentation: place the gallette on the dish with some spoon of sauce. Alternate layers of vegetables and fish with the sauce, finishing the salad with a last layer of gallette.
Garnish salad’s top with a prawn, the shrimps, the oyster, the mussels and sliced egg, the beetroot, some fresh parsley and the viper grass.