Pezzetti Fritti (Mixed Fried Vegetables) Recipe

One of my favorite early memories of Rome is of a food and wine festival thrown by the kosher catering company Le Bon Ton. Members of the city’s Jewish community showed up in spades, dressed to the nines and ready to toast one another and go back for seconds and thirds at the abundant food tables. Of all I ate that afternoon, my favorite was the battered deep-fried vegetables, served hot and crisp from the fryer in brown paper cones for easy (and stylish!) nibbling.

Mixed fried vegetables (and sometimes fish), commonly known as fritto misto, are beloved by all Romans, but the deep-frying method hails originally from the Roman Jewish kitchen. Roman Jews call the dish pezzetti fritti (literally, “fried pieces”), and they fry everything from zucchini and mushrooms to onions, potatoes, cauliflower, sliced artichokes and parsnips. Feel free to play around with other vegetables when you make this at home. Roman batters are generally quite thick, fully concealing whatever is inside. My version is a little lighter but still coats the ingredients nicely. Serve the fried vegetables piping hot, with lemon wedges alongside for squeezing.

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