• Fritto Misto of Grapes, Fennel, and Lemons with Lemon Crème Fraîche

    Ingredients

    Yield: 8 portions

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Red grapes, cut into small bunches and frozen
      1 lb.
    • Rice flour for dredging
      ½ cup
    • Fennel bulb, cored, trimmed, and cut into wedges
      1 ea.
    • Lemon, sliced paper thin
      1 ea.
    • Lemon wedges, for garnish
    • Vegetable oil, for frying

    Fritto misto batter

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Cake flour
      3 cups
    • Cornstarch
      ¾ cup
    • Baking soda
      1 Tbsp.
    • Salt
      2 Tbsp.
    • Sparkling water, cold
      as needed

    Lemon crème fraîche

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Crème fraîche
      1 cup
    • Lemon, zest and juice of
      1 ea.
    • Fennel seed, ground
      ¼ tsp.
    • Kosher salt
      ½ tsp.

    Method

    1. Prepare the grapes, fennel, and lemon for frying.
    2. For the fritto misto batter: Combine dry ingredients. Whisk in cold sparkling water to desired consistency.
    3. For the lemon crème fraîche: Combine the crème fraîche, lemon juice and zest, ground fennel seed, and salt; mix to incorporate.
    4. To fry and assemble: Preheat the fryer to 375°F. Remove the grapes from the freezer and dip into the bowl of rice flour; toss to coat evenly and then knock off the excess. Dip the grape bunches into the batter and then lower into the fryer, holding them by the stem with a pair of tongs; fry until crisp and golden, then drain on paper towels. Remove any loose pieces of batter from the oil. Repeat with the vegetable pieces and drain.
    5. Place on a large plate, season with salt and pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice over the top. Serve immediately with lemon crème fraîche on the side.
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