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Fritto Misto with Fennel and Lemons

The flavors in this crispy seafood dish echo those in Grace Parisi's high-end pan roast, but Melissa Rubel Jacobson chose less expensive seafood for her interpretation. "I used only a thin coating of batter—somewhere between a beer batter and tempura—so the flavor of the fish doesn't get lost," she says.

slideshowMore Seafood Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 first-course servings

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  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 3/4 pound skinless cod fillet, cut into 12 chunks
  • 1/2 pound squid, tentacles halved and bodies sliced into 1/2-inch rings
  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the flour with the cornstarch, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Whisk in the club soda to make a thin batter. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour in a bowl. Season the shrimp, cod, squid, fennel and lemon slices with salt and black pepper. Dust with the flour. Dip them in the batter in batches, scraping some of the excess against the side of the bowl, and fry them in batches in the hot oil until lightly golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the fritto misto on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a large plate, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Suggested Pairing

This lively fritto misto needs a brightly acidic wine; try an affordable Australian Riesling.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published February 2008

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