Known to many a diner as thinly sliced cow’s flesh, carpaccio is embracing a new identity. The iconic Italian dish — named some decades ago for a famous Venetian painter — is being reimagined with plant-based ingredients.
Eateries from Philadelphia to Wisconsin are adding vegan versions of the classic to their menus, offering a modern-day twist on a timeless culinary concept. Instead of beef, creative chefs are using eggplant, beets, portobello mushrooms and other fresh veggies to push meat off the plate.
So, for your gustatory pleasure, here are five vegan carpaccios being offered up at eateries across the U.S.
One of the nation’s most notable vegan restaurants, Vedge is no stranger to creative twists on classic dishes. Always ahead of the vegetable curve, chef Rich Landau began experimenting with portobellos back when they were first popping up in veggie burgers. He started thinly slicing and grilling the earthy veggies to achieve a hearty, smoky finish. Eventually, Vedge’s portobello carpaccio was born. It features a fascinating flavor array, including deviled turnip pureed with dijon and black lava salt, caper puree, cracked pepper and nigella seed (wild onion) grissini.
Photo courtesy of Louies Modern
This Florida-based bistro is known for its fresh, inventive cuisine. For its carpaccio creation, the kitchen opted for an exotic assortment of vegetables. Its version of the Italian appetizer features thinly sliced beets topped with hearts of palm, sunchoke (aka a Jerusalem artichoke), fennel, radish and the summer staple — cucumber. Then, it’s lightly dressed with a chili lime vinaigrette for a marvelously spicy finish.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Offering a refreshing twist on traditional New Orleans-style fare, Seed’s plant-based menu is a colorful conglomeration of salads, soups, and reimagined comfort foods. Like Louies, this eatery’s incarnation of carpaccio is another rosy-hued, beet-based creation. Simple and flavorful, it features paper-thin beets, red onions, capers, an assortment of seasonal greens and grape seed oil.
Photo courtesy of Nonno’s Ristorante Italiano
Carpaccio is a staple on the menu of many an Italian restaurant, but Nonno’s version is something else entirely. The omnivorous establishment wanted to offer something unique for vegan and vegetarian eaters. The plant-based carpaccio creation features seasoned, grilled zucchini topped with arugula, red onions, capers and artichoke hearts. It’s then drizzled with EVOO and fresh lemon juice for a fresh finale.
Brooklyn, New York
The newly-opened eatery in Greenpoint is all about veggie-strong, seasonal American fare. And while the menu is meat-heavy, there’s also a dedicated “vegetable” section — where the carrot carpaccio (pictured at top) makes its home. The dish is comprised of thinly shaved carrots topped with a gremolata (chopped carrot greens with a citrus twist). It’s then sprinkled with with buckwheat and edible flowers for an aesthetically appealing finish.