All posts filed under: recipes

Wild herbs and beauty of the Venetian lagoon

by Anna Gilchrist Sant’Erasmo is one of those places that is known by few but known very well by those few. Just a stone’s throw away from the well-known Calli and Campos of Venice’s bustling center (click here for Vaporetto information). However, it remains relatively untrodden because despite being an integral part of the history of Venice and its inhabitants, the Islands can be an intimidating prospect without the knowledge of what to expect. That is what we went to discover. With the confident eyes of Tiberio we learnt about the hundreds of vegetables and plants that naturally thrive in the unique environment of the Lagoon and are currently under appreciated. As we walked amongst the towering herbs and uncut flowers the inspiration for recipes was palpable and it is unbelievable to think that they still remain such a mystery to most of us.   From just the one afternoon that we were lucky enough to spend cycling around, we encountered countless characters, all with their own role and stories about the Island. Unfortunately when we arrived …

When Piemonte meets Veneto

It’s “Radicchio season”, but more especially it’s the time of the year when you can enjoy one of the most interesting and tasty vegetables of our region, Veneto: we are talking about Radicchio di Treviso “tardivo”. This amazing vegetable was created in the 19th Century by a Belgian agronomist, Van Den Borre. The tecnique to obtain the look of the Tardivo is called Imbianchimento (whitening): the vegetables are harvested late, then put through a forced second growth immersed for 15 days in tanks filled with spring water at a temperature of 13° in a few light. This makes the plants grow again, become intensely red with their long white “fingers”, blooming excactly like flowers. It has a delicate and at the same time intense unique bitter taste. It’s perfect roasted in the oven, raw in a salad, to make Risotto…today we’ll serve it roasted in the pan with hazelnuts and another great product from the Northwest Italy: the Tomino Boscaiolo, a delicious cow’s milk cheese from Piemonte. Roasted Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso, Hazelnuts, Tomino Boscaiolo …

Nice to be back…fresh market delicacies #1

It’s nice to be back..and to get these amazing fresh seasonal ingredients that only in some areas of Italy you can find and enjoy. This particular kind of “Broccoli”, for instance, is a very special type of broccoli that you can find only in Vicenza: they grow on the hills of a small town called Creazzo. Goethe, when was here during his Italian journey in the 18th C, describes women carrying baskets full of them on their shoulders to sell these vegetables to the local market. You can make so many different and delicious dishes with these so simple, but tasty vegetables..last night we made a soup adding also potatoes, onion and…Gorgonzola! “Broccoli Fiolari” Soup with Gorgonzola for 6 servings 500 g Broccoli Fiolari (or Broccoli) 1 red onion 3 potatoes salt/pepper/extra virgin olive oil 1 lt vegetable stock    Rinse well the broccoli and cut the ends. Chop them and put them in a casserole with the onion and the potatoes (also chopped). Cover the vegetables with the stock and cook them until they …

Roasted beets, carrots and potatoes with apple and Balsamico

This is our version of the classic roasted beets and roots with apple and chili. For 4 Servings Carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Sweet potatoes, Apples Chili Rosmary Balsamic vinegar olive oil, salt & pepper Preheat the oven to 220° Cleanse and cut vegetables, in slices or sticks put them on the baking tray with some salt, pepper, chili and rosmary. Drizzle with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar Cook them in the oven until they are roasted. Serve them warm and add some Olive oil if necessary. This is great with goat cheese and toasted bread!

Orange and Artichokes. Some like it raw!

Last Friday we really enjoyed shopping at the local market, where we found just amazing fragrant and sweet oranges and some fresh and delicious artichokes called “Violetto di Sicilia”. With few simple ingredients (but you need them to be absolutely good, fresh and…in season) you can make a very tasty (raw and vegetarian) appetizer, in a more interesting version of a traditional artichoke Carpaccio, seasoned with orange juice and honey…yummy!!! Carpaccio di Carciofi con vinaigrette al miele e all’arancia, Parmigiano     Artichokes Carpaccio with honey and orange vinaigrette, Parmesan leaves For 4 Servings 3 very fresh artichokes lemon 1 orange (juice) honey, salt, pepper extra virgin olive oil parmesan Cleanse the artichokes removing leaves until it’s soft. Cut the end, remove the stem, and cut the artichoke in half. make the same for all the artichokes left. Put them in a bowl with water and lemon juice (this way they will not turn black). Slice the artichokes thinly, season them with salt, pepper, olive oil and a vinaigrette made with orange juice and honey. Add some …

Autumn Leaves, Mussels and Sparkling wine

It’s (f)all folks :)..and this is more than just a melancholic and cosy season: it’s one of the best times of the year to enjoy clams! It was my sister’s birthday, and for lunch we decided to make a classic: Peppered Mussels ..so yummi! So, this is what you need if you want to make this very simple but extroardinary, tasty and delicious appetizer, that can be actually also served as main course. for 2 persons 500 g of Super-fresh mussels, garlic, persil, pepper (and chili), olive oil, bread..a nice glass of Prosecco! Wash the mussels with running water, rubbing them to remove any deposit. Put olive oil, garlic and chili in a frying pan and just fry over low heat. Add the mussels and wait for them to open.When they start opening, add half glass of Prosecco, cook them for 2 minutes, add some persil and olive oil: they are ready. Put some oil in another pan and toast the bread in slices.          Enjoy this great dish…it will make you …

Autumn salad with figs, raw ham, goat cheese and hazelnuts

Let’s have a bite of Autumn! It’s time to play with seasonal ingredients and warm, intense flavours in this time of the year. This “salad” is a variation on the Italian classic “Prosciutto e Fichi”: we added hazelnuts to give  the dish a crunchy texture and creamy goat cheese. It’s a last minute appetizer, fancy but easy to prepare and most of all…delicious! For 4 persons 4 black figs 8 slices of raw ham wild salad edible flowers fresh goat cheese honey peeled hazelnuts salt & pepper Extra virgin olive oil Wash and prepare all the ingredients: cut the hazelnuts, figs and the prosciutto slices. In a bowl, mix goat cheese and honey until creamy and smooth, you will use this mixture to make small “quenelles” to finish the salad simply using two tea spoons. Put the wild salad on the serving plates, trying to make a nice background for all the other ingredients. Then add ham, figs (we suggest to season them with some honey as well ;)) flowers and the small goat cheese …

Buffalo mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, basil oil and lavender flowers

A super-easy but delicious appetizer or quick lunch for friends! Ingredients for 4 persons 4 Buffalo mozzarella 4 cherry tomatoes Extra virgin olive oil Fresh basil black Hawaiian salt lavender fresh flowers (edible)   Cut the mozzarella into two parts and arrange them on the serving plate, one close to the other one. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in 4 pieces. Remove the seeds and stick into the tomatoes slices making a kind of flower shape as in the picture. Fix it on the mozzarella. With a blender, make the basil oil. Add the washed and dry basil leaves to 1/2 cup of olive oil, some salt and blend it till obtain a green, smooth sauce. Season the mozzarella with the black salt, add some drops of basil oil and complete the composition with some fresh lavender flowers.