Have you ever tried an olive oil so good you wished you could drink it? Then pinzimonio is the dish for you. All you need is a bottle of the best extra virgin olive oil you can find, a pinch of good sea salt, and a platter of crisp vegetables. Dip each piece in the oil, then catch it in your mouth before you drizzle EVOO all over your tabletop. That’s it!
The first time Washington Post writer Daniela Galarza come across pinzimonio, she “thought it was a mistake”, perplexed at the lack of other seasonings. But it turns out, this Italian appetizer is a wonderful way to highlight the freshest produce of the season, and of course, real extra virgin olive oil.
“There is a seemingly endless number of ways to approach the dish. I like that at its heart, the dish forces the eater to pay attention, to taste the individual vegetables and oil, to appreciate flavors that are often cooked and combined and muddled into some other whole. Taste a leaf of baby kale, a purple carrot, a fresh broccoli floret — really taste it. The oil and a pinch of salt will enhance the flavors of each vegetable just slightly, as though you were putting them under a magnifying glass.” – Daniela Galarza
The Washington Post debates whether this dish was created to celebrate olio nuovo, the first pressing of the year’s olive harvest. Who did they ask for some extra virgin guidance? Our very own Beatrice! “The Italian way to celebrate olio nuovo is fettunta, which is bread soaked in oil, from the Tuscan dialect: fetta for slice, and unta for oily or greased,” she says.
Our advice? Celebrate olio nuovo and the best autumnal vegetables with a platter of pinzimonio AND fettunta at your next gathering. But do consider giving each person their own personal bowl of olive oil, your tablecloths will thank you.