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Recipe: the Cappon Magro, aromas and flavors of Liguria

Friday 01 june 2018

From the olive groves of the west to the fishing harbors of the Levante, passing through the good tables of Genoa. All the seduction of Ligurian cuisine, which triumphs in Cappon Magro. A historical dish, the mastery of the encounter between land and sea

Recipe: the Cappon Magro, aromas and flavors of Liguria

Secluded villages with works of rare beauty and, in the caruggi, the aromas and flavors of the genuine, simple and imaginative gastronomy of the region. Ancient recipes linked to the secrets of the sea and to the generous gifts of the earth, which today culminate with skilful reinterpretations of tradition, even by starred chefs. The Cappon Magro is an icon among the Ligurian recipes and represents the union between the sea - fish and shellfish - with the land, the fresh and tasty vegetables. A dish that has become one of the symbols of this region - with the mountain that surrounds it and overlooks the waves -, originally born to reuse the fish not consumed on ships or in the kitchens of the nobles. It is also said that this dish replaced the capon, originally more expensive dish and, perhaps, its name derives precisely from this arcane. Another thesis credited, moreover, is that of the Italianization of the French "chapon", a slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and used for soups. In the past an unmissable protagonist on Christmas and Easter desks, today Cappon Magro triumphs daily in Ligurian proposals and, often, wearing his best clothes. His presentation, in fact, can reach spectacular choreography and in this case also lobsters and oysters are "recruited".


  • 800 grams of fish (hake, umbel, sea bass)
  • 1 lobster
  • 12 prawns
  • 6 oysters,
  • 50 grams of "mosciamme" of tuna (dried tuna)
  • 200 grams of seafood of your choice
  • 1 lemon
  • vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 beet
  • 4 artichokes
  • 3 scorzonera roots
  • 1 white celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 300 grams of green beans
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of mushrooms in oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 sailor's cakes (they are like dried scones)


For the sauce:

  • a handful of capers
  • 20 grams of pine nuts
  • 2 salted anchovies
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 firm egg yolks
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 sandwich (only the breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of green olives
  • 1 glass of extra virgin olive oil salt as required)


Lets start by cleaning and boiling the potatoes and vegetables separately. Once cooked, peel and cut into thin slices the potatoes, beets, carrots and artichoke bottoms while the remaining vegetables will be cut into pieces. We season everything with oil, vinegar and salt and put the mixture in a container.

Clean and cook the fish in water and herbs, then remove skin and bones, then cut into small pieces and season with oil, lemon and a pinch of salt. We do the same with the lobster, trying to keep its original shape as much as possible, then we boil the prawns and leave them whole and so we do with the oysters and the other seafood. Cook the eggs until they are firm.

We therefore have in different dishes - to facilitate the work - the cut into thin slices, the anchovies deprived of salt and bones, olives, capers and mushrooms.

In a mortar - nowadays the blender is fine, even if the "purists" curl their nose - let's say parsley, garlic, pine nuts, capers, anchovies, 2 egg yolks, breadcrumbs of wet bread of vinegar, the pulp of the olives and a pinch of salt. Let's crush - or frull - until you get a creamy sauce, sieve and dilute with a glass of oil and a half of vinegar.

Put the marinette biscuits in a serving dish rubbed with garlic, sprinkle with a little water and vinegar and a pinch of salt, add a little oil.

We begin to place the vegetables and fish on the biscuits and alternate layers, alternating with the sauce. There is no precise order in which to arrange the ingredients but only the ability to overlap them, creating a polychromy of tastes and colors that will form a tower with a wider base and on top of which will be placed the lobster surrounded by shrimp.

For greater choreography, the sliced ​​eggs, the seafood and the olives and the remaining mushrooms can be placed around the Cappon Magro.

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