Alfonso Iaccarino’s recipe for

Ash-baked onion veil “caskets,” filled with a shrimp and black olive stuffing and served with onion crisp and San Daniele prosciutto


Makes 12 servings

1.8 kg white onion (12 onions about 150 g each)
1.5 kg coarse salt
400 g ash
600 g shrimp
70 g black olives, chopped
12 parsley leaves, fried
160 g San Daniele prosciutto

For the crispy onion veils
100 g white onion

For the parsley sauce
100 g parsley leaves

For the shrimp crisp
300 g shrimp shells, with heads
200 ml water
100 g Carnaroli rice
extra-virgin olive oil

For the onion crisp
400 g white onions
100 g Carnaroli rice
100 g purple potatoes
1 litre of water

6 ½ hours

For the crispy onion veils
Cut the onion in half, from top to bottom (not in rings); separate into individual layers, removing and discarding the membrane-like sheaths between one layer and another, and cut each resulting “veil” into four rhomboid-shaped quarters. Fry the veils at 130°C for just a few seconds and dehydrate in a static oven at 50°C.

For the parsley sauce
Cook the parsley leaves in boiling water; cool and blend.

For the shrimp crisp
Sauté the shells and heads of the shrimp in a little oil, add the rice and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 40 minutes. Blend and put through a chinois (conical sieve with an extremely fine mesh). Spread out on a silpat mat as thinly as possible and bake in a 60°C oven for 3 hours to dry out. When nice and brittle, mince coarsely and store in a dry place.

For the onion crisp
Coarsely chop the onions; peel and coarsely chop the potatoes, then cook together with the rice in a litre of water for about 40 minutes. Blend the mixture and put through a sieve. Season to taste with salt, spread out on silpat mats as thinly as possible and bake in a 60°C oven for about 3 hours. Once crisp, cut into triangles approximately the size of the crispy onion veils described above and store in a dry place.

For the prosciutto garnish
Slice the prosciutto and place in a dehydrator at 65°C (or on parchment paper in a ventilated oven) until fairly crisp; set aside.

Bake the onions, covered with with salt and ashes, in a 180°C oven for 1½ hours.
Let cool, then cut the tops off carefully to obtain “lids” and scoop out the centres so as to form little tub-like caskets.
Season the shrimp with oil, salt and the chopped black olives. Stuff the onions baskets with the mixture and bake them at 180°C for a couple of minutes (be careful not to overcook the shrimp).
On a square dinner plate, place the stuffed onion on the bottom right side, top with a slice of San Daniele prosciutto, an onion crisp triangle and a fried parsley leaf and replace the “lid”. Arrange the crispy onion veils in the centre of the plate and, lastly, the parsley sauce on the top left. Finish the dish by sprinkling everything with the minced shrimp brittle.
Mediterranean, modern, and straightforward are the words used to describe the cuisine of Alfonso Iaccarino, the gastronomic phenomenon of the Amalfi Coast.
A.Iaccarino_intHigh quality products, simplicity in the handling of raw materials and the importance of tradition: these are the ever-present ingredients in the cuisine of Alfonso Iaccarino, the mythical Don Alfonso, the renowned chef whose realm is located in Sant’Agata dei Due Golfi.
Alfonso Iaccarino is the first chef in Southern Italy to have been awarded three Michelin stars. He has always energetically upheld a culinary credo based on uncompromising quality and the enhancement of the specificity of place of his territory. As a matter of fact, the menu of his restaurant, Don Alfonso 1890, opens with a phrase by from Eduardo De Filippo: “Only after tradition has been studied in depth and respected does anyone have the right to set it aside. If we use tradition as our springboard, we will clearly leap much higher.”
Campania is very fertile land, thanks to the mineral-rich pyroclastic layer with which the repeated eruptions of Mount Vesuvius have mantled it. Don Alfonso’s cuisine stems from his love for this heritage and his desire to protect it; his every effort is aimed at transmitting these emotions, even in the presentation of a dish or a wine. Everything in Alfonso Iaccarino’s art mirrors the warmth of the sun and the smell of the sea of his native land, resulting in a cuisine that is unabashedly Mediterranean, enshrining Campania’s tradition with creative notes that genuinely express its terroir of sea and vegetable garden. It is, in fact, fresh shrimp, onion and black olives that accompany San Daniele prosciutto in this recipe, embodying the modernity, lightness and flavour that distinguish this great chef. The result is a dish in which crispiness is paramount, in an interplay of flavours that are sweet and savoury, sophisticated and rustic, and where the visual element also plays a major part.

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