Welcome To Harry’s Bar In Venice!
Yes, it may seem nondescript outside, but inside is one of the most legendary bars in the world – Harry’s Bar in Venice Italy opened in 1931 – and the 91-year-old institution is famous for hosting writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote!
And since they are a bar, they are also known for this:
Their Famous Bellini!
I took the above photo in 2018, when my wife Alex and I were in Venice and HAD to have their famous Bellini!
Here’s their bar menu, with the Bellini listed first under cocktails….the recipe is to come!
We are going to make one of their famous Bellini’s of course, and we are going to enjoy it alongside one of the restaurant’s most famous concoctions!
In Venice, the restaurant refers to the dish as “Torcellana” to honor the vegetables that grow on the nearby island of the same name…
For week #38 in my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, we are headed to Venice to make a legendary drink – and their vegetable dish that has amazing versatility!
First, the drink – because as the cookbook points out right away:
“It’s Harry’s BAR – we must never forget; it’s not Harry’s Restaurant!”
The bar is the star, and therefore before we cook, we must make the drink that made the bar famous!
Behold The Harry’s Bar Bellini!
It’s a simple and deliciously refreshing drink that Harry’s made famous worldwide – the “Bellini!”
OK, I used peach juice, but the bar makes their peach juice from scratch, by pulping the peaches by hand and and then forcing them through a sieve to get the juice – you can as well but that is your challenge not mine!
The recipe however is easy…add one part peach juice and then add 3 parts Italian sparkling wine! Harry’s has a bit more texture because of the fresh pulp, but that aside, it’s an easy and delicious drink!
With that refreshing beverage next to you, time to make a really versatile vegetable dish that is a Harry’s classic!
Making “Legumi alla Primavera!”
I wanted to make this recipe because of its versatility – their local islands are brimming with fresh vegetables, and the recipe says to use what’s fresh in your area – and you can mix and match a bunch of different vegetables – except never eggplant! They say it ruins the flavor!
Here are some of what I used:
Here are the ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove – who’s kidding who? I used a dozen!
2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
baby carrots cut into 1/4″dice
6 artichoke hearts
2 tbl. finely chopped onion – I used more!
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4″ dice
12 asparagus spears trimmed into 1/2 inch slices
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/4″ dice
2 medium plum tomatoes cut in 1/4″ dice
1 leek, white part only cut into 1/4 inch dice
salt and pepper to taste
Let’s get cooking!
Finely chop your onions and garlic. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the garlic then add the onions and sauce for a few minutes…
Next, I added in some carrots – not part of Harry’s recipe but I love them – and they say use what you love…cook it all for 7-10 minutes, then add your next ingredients:
I added the diced zucchini, asparagus and the bell pepper next, cooked for five minutes and then added the leek and diced bell pepper…
As you can see, this is a colorful mix of fresh vegetables being cooked in nothing more than olive oil – the flavors coming together as they cook…
Next, I added the tomatoes and the mushrooms, the tomatoes adding some moisture which of course the mushrooms will soak up!
Cook this all together for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are just cooked al dente…at this point, season with salt and pepper and you are done!
This blend of vegetables can be used on top of risotto or pasta and look what I did!
I actually made a unique squid ink risotto, which has a “flavor of the sea” – to honor the Venice lagoon!
While some may not be fans of the charcoal color of the risotto, I actually think it looked terrific as a base for my primavera – and it tasted great too!
Of course, you also need to make another Bellini – cheers!
I’m having a blast with my “52 in 22” cooking challenge…this was week #38, and I have tried to not only cook around the world, but across time as well:
Yes, I cooked recipes from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of our “Founding Foodies!”
Do you know that Jefferson introduced America to macaroni?
He did, and if you click here you can eat his favorite recipe for it!
So far this year, I have cooked across decades and around the world – and even tackled one of England’s greatest dishes – the Meat Pie!
This is a Duck/Mustard/Panceta and Cabbage Pie – click here to see acclaimed Chef Calum Franklin’s incredible dish:
Along with my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, I am sharing other food stories like this:
Some incredibly enterprising women created “burrito tape” and the world may never be the same!
Click here to se the story I shared!
I also have shared all of my worst cooking disasters, like this:
Michael Ruhlman’s great “Egg” cookbook almost cracked me! I almost butchered his “Crispy Mollet Egg With Asparagus” recipe – click here to see how I salvaged it:
This was week #38 of my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, so much more to come!
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