icon Beef Carpaccio with Orange-Olive Salsa and Shaved Cheese

Carpaccio refers to a dish of raw beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna drizzled with olive oil and served with arugula. The name is tied to Vittore Carpaccio, a Venetian Renaissance painter, making it another example of Italian food and drink named after a Venetian painter (the other being Bellini).

One story has it that carpaccio was invented in Harry's Bar in Venice. Another one says that the dish was born at the Savini Restaurant in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.

Orange-Olive salsa

  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  • 1 1/4 lb trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried lavender blossoms
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 2-ounce wedge aged Gouda cheese, shaved using vegetable peeler

For salsa

  1. Using small sharp knife, cut off peel and white pith from oranges.
  2. Working over medium bowl, cut between membranes to release sections. Cut each section crosswise into 4 pieces and add to bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

For carpaccio

  1. Combine fennel, salt, black and white pepperconrs, and lavender, if using, in a mortar and coarsely crush with a pestle (or place in resealable plastic bag and coarsely crush with a rolling pin).
  2. Rub 1 tablespoon oil over beef, then coat beef with spice mixture. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add beef and sear on all sides, turning every 2 minutes, about 12 minutes total (beef will be rare in center). Chill until cold, then wrap in plastic and freeze 1 hour.
  4. Slice the meat as thinly as possible (sliced meat can be pounded between layers of waxed paper until paper-thin, if desired).
  5. Toss arugula with juices from salsa and mound on platter. Top with salsa. Surround with meat and cheese.
  6. YIELD: serves 10.

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Last updated: November 1, 2010
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.