ExperiencePlus! Blog

Faenza, a stolen pig, and carrot tartare

grated carrots on a counter

Last night the entire U.S. staff toasted to our good fortune with a glass of La Sabbiona sparkling brut rosé, Bella Vita, as we sat around a table in the cellar of Bisinì dla Sghisa, a local food osteria in Faenza, Italy. Outsized tarot cards hung from the ceiling amidst normal sized ones while movie posters, ceramics, and mixed-media art decorated the walls. The sensibility of the restaurant was fully expressed upon entering. There on a small poster hung a cartoon, drawn by the restaurant manager, announcing the request to return a ‘lost’ and missing pig. Not just any pig. The restaurant’s “tip pig.” The eggplant-sized ceramic piggy bank, in all its pink splendor, went missing one night and the fine people at Sghisa wanted it back, if found. The pig was reportedly nice and gentle.

But I digress from the point, which is to share with you that the appetizers we enjoyed included something I had yet to experience in my life: carrot tartare. I am no connoisseur of any kind of tartare. I have heard of it, maybe had it once in my life, but have never sought it out, especially since I like a little heat added to my read meat. But bring me a tender, grated carrot tartare dusted with peanuts and pistachios on a swirl of butternut puree and adorned with a crisp, green veggie chip, and then infuse the tartare with a subtle yet deeply satisfying, warm, turmeric-like flavor, perfectly seasoned with salt and garlic, and I just might want to write a blog post about one of the best bites I have enjoyed in the last year, if not decade.

This is not a typical dish of Romagna. But I think it’s fair to say that the passion behind the creation of the appetizer and the local ingredients used to craft its existence are deeply Romangnolo. Carrot tartare is not a new dish. You’ll find a variety of recipes online. Some include egg yolk, diced carrots, capers and anchovies and others are placed atop a bed of avocado. As much as I would like to offer you the official Sghisa recipe for carrot tartare, in this moment I do not possess it (we are working on this). So for now, please take this offering of an adapted recipe, originally submitted by Elliott Papineau to Food 52. I suggest grating the carrot thickly instead of finely dicing. For presentation, you might also like to press the final carrot mixture into a very lightly oiled, small bowl or ramekin, for an elegant presentation.

And please do let us know if you have any alterations to this recipe that make more of a taste sensation!



  • large CARROTS – thickly grated
  • 2 tablespoons MUSTARD AIOLI – such as this homemade version with honey
  • 3 pinches of SALT
  • 1 handful RAW PISTACHIOS – minced
  • 1 teaspoon CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR
  • SMALL SHALLOT – minced
  • 1 teaspoon LEMON ZEST


  1. Mix carrots, pistachios and shallot in bowl.
  2. Mix mustard, champgne vinegar, roasted garlic past and lemon zest together, then fold into carrot mixture.
  3. Present tartare to your liking. Sprinkle with micro greens, place atop sliced avocado, or eat straight out of the bowl.
  4. Enjoy