One of the best things about traveling is eating new things....a trip to any spot outside my hometown requires trying everything new, unique and indigenous to wherever it is I am at. When I think of a place I have been there is always a food memory linked with it. My mom shares this trait with me, or more likely I inherited it from her.
We have a dear family friend, Rosie....who is not only fabulous beyond words, but also a travel agent and puts together the most amazing "girls trips" that involve some of the best adventures on the planet and Mom has gotten to join her multiple times to experience Heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, exploring Greece with the next best thing to a native and one of my moms best trips, a trip to Tuscany to stay in a 1000 year old Castello to stay with an Italian chef at a cooking school.
Unsurprisingly she brought home numerous stories and memories, and of course all of the cookbooks the school had to offer with recipes from their stay along with the Chef's own signature cookbook and memoir.
One of our absolute favorite treats that she brought home is a very unexpected combination of flavors, perfect for pairing with your first cocktail, glass of wine or even better yet, champagne or dry sparkling wine.
If you are not a "fish person" you might want to stop right here and call it a day. But if you like salt and you like fish...read on and give these a go because they are absolutely delicious and are inhaled within moments of coming out of the frying pan.
First you go pick an even number of sage leaves, make sure they somewhat pair up as you will be making a sandwich of them. The filling?
Correct, the fishy, salty, briny and full of the sea flavor fishes that find themselves relegated to a hidden shelf in the grocery store, kept off of pizza and snuck in to your Caesar salad.
I kid you not, this is a winner. The combo of the earthy sage pops and the salty fish is tempered by a light batter of egg and flour.
I do love these little buggers. And tonight as Mom and I are hanging out at her house while Dad is up north catching fish and a buzz with his buddies, she decided it was time for one of Giancarlo's treats to whet our appetites.
12 Sage Leaves, rinsed & patted dry, 1/2" of the stem left on (its a handle!)
A little water
Canola oil for frying
Spread a thin layer of anchovy paste on 1/2 of the leaves and then press the remaining leaves on those to make a "sandwich".
Beat the egg and add a touch of water and a few tablespoons of flour. Whisk until smooth. It should be the consistency of pancake batter, add more flour or water as needed.
Heat the oil until shimmering. Dip the fritters in the egg batter and fry until golden on both sides.
Drain on a paper towel and let them cool a moment before letting people inhale them.
Like this. :)