In Tuscany, especially at dinner time, you will almost always find on the table a classic favourite: pinzimonio.
Eating vegetable crudite’ doesn’t get easier than this: in a small bowl add olive oil, salt and vinegar (not “balsamic” vinegar but red wine vinegar). Emulsify quickly with a fork and enjoy your freshly cut vegetables at every dip.
The typical pinzimonio will include fennel, celery and carrots but you can add tomatoes cut in wedges, radishes or other vegetables you like (altough I must tell you that nobody in Italy would eat raw cauliflower or broccoli!). Tender raw artichokes would be another fundamental in Tuscany but unfortunately you’ll have to wait until your next trip overseas to bite into this great (and undoubtedly my favourite) vegetable.
Just one word of advice: olive oil is the main ingredient and its quality makes ALL the difference!
In terms of proportions just follow this century old advice (which is also applicable when dressing salads- because at this point I’m assuming you are NOT using pre made vinaigrettes or condiments, right?)
“A ben condire l’insalata ci vuole un avaro per l’aceto, un giusto per il sale e uno prodigo per l’olio”
“To dress a salad properly you need a stingy man with vinegar, a righteous man with salt and a prodigal man with olive oil”
Buon pinzimonio a tutti!