Zucchini in carpione, tuna tartare and eggs Benedict are all part of the inspiration for this appetizer.

Chef Francesca Penoncelli explains that zucchini in carpione, a rustic, traditional marinated zucchini dish from Northwestern Italy, is something that her mother would serve during the summer.


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As for the other elements of the dish, “people in San Diego love tuna tartare,” she said, adding, “eggs mean breakfast and brunch [in the United States], but in Italy they don’t.”

To create the dish she makes carpione, a sweet-and-sour marinade from the Italian region of Piemonte, by slowly cooking shallots in white wine and rice vinegar. She uses that marinade to dress julienned zucchini that has been sautéed with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

Next, Penoncelli thinly slices sushi-grade ahi tuna and dresses it with salt, pepper and olive oil that has been infused with Meyer lemon zest. She puts the tuna between two slices of toasted brioche and tops that sandwich with the zucchini and a sunny-side-up quail egg. She also drizzles the carpione on the plate.

The dish sells for $19.

Contact Bret Thorn: bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary