If you're looking for an impressive appetizer, whether for a dinner party, date night or Valentine's day, then beef carpaccio has to be on your list to try. It's really easy to make, but is elegant and delicious.
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Beef carpaccio is one of those classic appetizers that my husband and I find really hard to resist. It's right up there with ceviche as something we are drawn to if it's on the menu.
For me, it's not such a surprise as I also enjoy sushi and things like the Korean sashimi rice bowl I made, but my husband is generally less of a 'raw' person.
Maybe that's part of why I don't really tend to make things like tartare or carpaccio at home. But any time I do, I'm reminded both how easy and tasty they are.
When I was thinking about foods that might be good for a Valentine's Day menu, carpaccio had to be in there. It has everything you could want in a Valentine's appetizer: easy, light, elegant and the perfect way to start a meal.
I've kind of had this dish on my mind since I share my steak crostini not too long ago, as I knew truffle oil would be a great addition. I wasn't disappointed. The truffle vinaigrette, arugula/rocket and parmesan go so well with the beef and round it out into the perfect appetizer.
Tips to make beef carpaccio
This dish isn't difficult, but the trick is in cutting the beef really thin.
- Use a really sharp knife - it is both safer and more effective.
- Freeze the beef for around an hour before slicing, to help it be firm and easier to slice. You don't want it completely frozen, just firmer.
- If you can't quite get it as thin as you'd like, place slices between plastic wrap and flatten further as needed with the flat side of a mallet/tenderizer.
The truffle vinaigrette is really easy to make as all you do is whisk everything together. You can add a little Dijon and/or sugar if you like, to make it more of a French-style vinaigrette, but it's up to you.
Beef carpaccio is an easy, elegant appetizer, but one that's sure to impress. Sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Try these other elegant appetizers:
- Salmon gravlax (an easy cured salmon)
- Scallop ceviche
- Steak crostini with mushroom pate and truffle oil
- Fish crudo (Italian-style raw fish with lemon and olive oil)
- Tuna tataki (seared tuna with a simple Japanese dressing)
- Plus get more inspiration in the appetizer recipes archives.
Beef carpaccio with truffle vinaigrette
- 5 oz beef tenderloin
- 2 handfuls arugula rocket
- ¼ oz parmesan (strongly recommend 'real' parmigiano regianno for this)
For the truffle viniagrette
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- (optional ¼tsp sugar, ¼tsp Dijon mustard, approx)
- Freeze the beef tenderloin for around 1 hour until it is firm. Using a sharp knife, cut the beef very thinly across the grain. If the slices are thin enough then divide between two plates. If not, then place on a slices on a piece of cling wrap/film, cover with another piece and then flatten with the smooth side of a tenderizer. Transfer to the two plates.
- Put the arugula in a bowl. Whisk or shake together the vinaigrette ingredients (truffle oil, EVOO, lemon juice and white wine vinegar, plus sugar and Dijon if using). Pour around half over the arugula and toss.
- Divide the arugula between the two plates then top the arugula and the beef with shavings of parmesan. Drizzle over a little more of the vinaigrette and serve.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other ideas for two:
Entrees for Two
- Cacio e Pepe with Parmesan Frico by Pies and Plots
- Filet with Crabéarnaise by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Peppered Chicken with Saffron Polenta by Gourmet Everyday
- Sausage and Vegetable Orzo by Hot Eats and Cool Reads
- Shrimp Biranyi by Our Good Life
- Shrimp Canneloni by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Teriyaki Rice Bowl by Life Tastes Good
Desserts for Two
- Chocolate Cherry Skillet Cookie by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies for 2 by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Kahlua Tiramisu for Two by That Skinny Chick Can Bake