If there’s one word to describe Sicily’s Aeolian Islands: authentic. The collection of seven islands off the coast of Sicily are thriving and forward thinking, but deeply steeped in tradition that is a unique combination of Italian, Sicilian, and distinctly Aeolian. Whether it is the distant rumble from the active volcano on Stromboli, the breathtaking oceanic views, or the entrancing aromas from the seaside kitchens, we are hooked – and you will be too.
On our trip to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, we have the opportunity to prepare dishes using traditional Sicilian ingredients, including an expectedly delicious twist on ice cream – with salty, pungent capers.
Capers are one of Sicily’s main crops, and are meticulously picked by hand and then either pickled or salted to preserve them and give them their distinctive taste. Traditionally served in savory dishes, our capers ventured their way into some ice cream!
The ice cream was served in a “roof tile” made out of Sicilian chocolate. This chocolate is equally as special because the sugar is added into the chocolate after it has cooled, so it does not melt, giving the chocolate a grainy – and delightful – texture. More info can be found HERE on one of the oldest chocolate factories in Sicily.
You could call them “pithy”, worth their bite. They are called Limoni di Pane. Bread lemons. You can make a salad out of them they are so substantial.
But I have taken a fancy to making a quick summer lemon pesto. It’s fresh, not too astringent and goes incredibly well with pasta, potatoes, and especially risotto.
Since it’s mostly lemon peel, chopped fine and mixed with pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper, you could also add it like a dressing on just about anything. Fabulous on fish!It will transport you to the islands in the Mediterranean and bring up visions of blue sky, colorful beach umbrellas, cool drinks and a sparkling sea.
L’abc 2013. 100% Sangiovese made by wine lovers Adriano Zago, Bernardo Conticelli and Ciro Beligni from vines grown 600 meters high in Lamole, in Chianti Classico. Vinified first in stainless steel, then terracotta amphora, then wood. It’s a very pretty wine with high cherry notes which were gorgeous on the palate with some organic, free-range Iberico ham from Finca Montefrio that I brought back from Seville and a savory pate that I made with capers and dried pachino cherry tomatoes from my recent trip to Sicily. It was fun to share with Bernardo who was sweet to bring me his wine to taste.
From Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGXE0cZn_x9/
Have you ever been snowed in? It’s a mixed feeling of disappointment and excitement all at once.
I can’t go anywhere, look at those huge wet flakes! The roads will be impossible. So much for that appointment… I get to stay home, make a fire and do that writing I wanted to do in between stages of spring cleaning.
But then what happens? You become ravenous. I wasn’t craving cookies. A fire was made and with over a foot of snow on the ground and still coming down, I thought of a warm, aromatic roast chicken — French style with 40 cloves of garlic. [Read more…]
Check out this sexy Spanish dessert. This is a wonderful and easy sweet to accompany any meal, but certainly one of Moroccan or Spanish origin. We include it in one of our cooking classes during our Feast for the Senses program in Marrakech, Morocco. But we love southern Spain so much, that we have added a Culinary Adventure in Seville.
Spices, ingredients and recipes are adventurous travelers. They may originate somewhere and then you would be surprised how far they can get. This is one of those wandering recipes: featuring figs, olives and capers, this recipe could be at home in Morocco, Sicily or Spain — or all three!
Easy and fast, this tapenade is wonderful served with manchego or a soft goat cheese on crostini. Or even over grilled chicken or fish.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m hungry. I remember that I have some super fresh eggs from Cure Organic Farm, from just down the road. I think to myself, shall I scramble them? Over easy? Poach? Yes! I say to myself with that smile that knows just exactly what to do. Not only will I scramble them, I’ll dress them up ~ Indian style!
What does that mean exactly? It means tempering your oil with spices before you pour your beaten eggs into the pan. I use a variation of fat, depending on what I what. I use a nob of butter with a drizzle of olive oil at times, other times I use ghee, but my favorite is coconut oil which gives it a south Indian flare. [Read more…]
Tfaya, or onion confit (seen in the photo under the chickpeas), is the crowing glory to any Moroccan tagine or couscous platter, and a great accompaniment to any roast. So easy to make too! [Read more…]