From Osteria La Spiga: Aringa Truccata – smoked herring, Moscato onions, marinated beets, orange and lemon wheels and wild arugula pesto (RECIPE)

Aringa Truccata – smoked herring, Moscato onions, marinated beets, orange and lemon wheels and wild arugula pesto from Osteria la Spiga for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo courtesy Osteria la Spiga.

Meet Aringa Truccata – smoked herring, Moscato onions, marinated beets, orange and lemon wheels and wild arugula pesto – from Osteria la Spiga for Alaska Herring Week 2017!

Wanna make this at home? You can purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week from Central Coop on Capitol Hill, Freshy’s Seafood Market on Mercer Island, Old Ballard Liquor Co. in Ballard, and Wild Salmon Seafood Market at Fisherman’s Terminal! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

Aringa Truccata
smoked herring appetizer with Moscato onions, marinated beets,
orange and lemon wheels and wild arugula pesto

(Serves 8-10, if you have surplus compenents, they will keep in the fridge for up to one week)


  • 4-5 pounds Smoked herring (recipe follows)
  • 2 Roasted marinated red beets
  • ¼ cup Quality red wine vinegar
  •  ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 recipe Moscato onions (recipe follows)
  • 1 recipe Arugula pesto (recipe follows)

-components of this dish should be prepared in advance and can easily be composed at the moment it is to be served

-roast beets in 375° oven in a small deep baking dish with ½” of water in the bottom, covered tightly with aluminum foil, for 1-1 ½ hours or until tender

-chill the beets with the foil still covering them

-once chilled, rub the skin off the beets with a kitchen rag or paper towel, the skin should come off easily, if not, peel the skin away with a knife or peeler, slice the beets paper thin

-combine red wine vinegar with salt and pepper and stir until the salt is dissolved, sprinkle over top of the thinly sliced beets, set aside or refrigerate if using the next day

-Peel orange and lemon with a sharp knife removing the pith, be careful to follow the contour of the fruit to maintain a round shaped end result, slice paper thin and set aside

-to compose the plate place beet slices on plate in decorative manner, add orange slices and only 1 or two lemon slices per person, flake off pieces of the smoked herring and place on top of the beets and citrus, top with Moscato onions and drizzle with the arugula pesto, finish with a quality extra virgin olive oil if desired

-dazzle your guests with color and flavor, enjoy!

Smoked Herring

(for 4-5 pounds of herring)

  • 1 cup Sea salt
  • 3 T Sugar
  • 2 T Peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 bunch Thyme, rough chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 Bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • Fennel fronds from 1 bulb of fennel, rough chopped
  • Herring filets, skin on

-combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix by hand until well blended

-weigh out the herring filets and use approximately 2-3 T of the mixture per lb to rub into the flesh side of herring filet

-pair filets flesh to flesh and wrap in plastic wrap, leaving the ends open for proper drainage, place in a hotel pan in single a layer, stack another hotel pan on top of it and add about 3# of weight to the top hotel pan to compress the herring lightly

-flip the filets regularly for 1-2 days then remove the herring from the plastic, rinse away salt and seasonings, pat dry, the herring is ready to smoke

-prepare smoker, do a light cold smoke, about 15 minutes, rub with neutral flavored oil (canola, safflower, etc.) store in fridge for later use

-remove any visible pin bones before serving

Arugula Pesto

  • 2 packed cups Wild arugula, garden fresh if possible
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¼ cup Walnuts
  • up to 1 cup (or desired amount) Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 T Freshly squeezed lemon juice

-combine all ingredients in a blender along with about ¼ cup water and process to a smooth consistency

-if your arugula is strong, you will not need much more seasoning than the above, if not try adding a little Italian flat leaf parsley for additional flavor

Moscato Onions

  • 2 Yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 cup Moscato d’Asti
  • 1 Whole clove
  • 5 Black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 T Olive oil

-in heavy bottomed sauce pan, gently sauté onion in olive oil with salt, clove and black peppercorn for about 5 minutes, do not caramelize

-add Moscato, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover, cook until completely tender

-remove lid and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to a dense creamy consistency and adheres to the onion








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