This is the Italian equivalent of Japanese tempura. Just like tempura, fritto misto (which translates to ‘mixed fried’ and usually includes tiny fish as well as the ingredients listed here) needs to be freshly cooked and served immediately. Make this dish for a small number of people for the best result.
½ cup flour
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup beer
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Selection of ingredients for frying:
herbs such as basil, sage and flat-leaf parsley
raw prawns, peeled with tail left on
small pieces of fish
slim batons of zucchini
vegetable oil for frying
sea salt and lemon wedges
Put the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Combine the egg yolk and olive oil and stir into the beer. Gradually whisk into the flour to make a smooth batter.
Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Just before using, whisk the egg white to stiff peaks and using a large metal spoon, fold into the batter. Thin with a little milk or water if required.
Wash the herbs and dry very well on kitchen towels.
Heat 3 cm of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 170˚C or until a piece of bread turns golden in 30 seconds.
Dip the ingredients in the batter, one by one, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. The coating should be very thin. Fry a few pieces at a time until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.