Polenta

Polenta topped with rapini:The rapini stalks are served whole over the polenta. For a richer polenta, stir in 4 ounces mascarpone and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

Fall frito misto

Prep: 50 minutes
Brine: 2 hours
Cook: 3-5 minutes per batch
Servings: 16

This recipe is from Michael "Mikey" Sheerin , executive chef of Cicchetti, a new restaurant with an opening planned for November, at 661 N. St. Clair St. The recipe makes enough for 16 small bites, or it can serve half that many people with a more substantial serving. For the Brussels sprouts, smaller pieces work best, about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Colatura di alici, an Italian fish sauce, is difficult to find. You can substitute with another type; we used Red Boat.

Brine:

2 quarts water

1/4 cub plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Juice of 2 lemons

1 pound each: Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, baby artichokes

Sauce:

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 ounces colatura di alici

1 habanero, seeded, chopped

1 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic, chopped

Batter:

1 cup flour

1/3 cup each: cornmeal, cornstarch