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.
Fennel is a winter vegetable commonly used in Italy, but not so common in America. During our Culinary Adventures in Tuscany, Amalfi, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands we sample this vegetable in a variety of uses. Its delicate and somewhat licorice aftertaste makes the celery-like texture delicious — either eaten raw, dipped in extra virgin olive oil and salt as in pinzimonio, or puréed into this delectable soup.
The addition of dried fennel flowers adds a summery highlight, along with the color contrast and exotic smattering of saffron. [Read more…]
To add a little sunshine to almost any dish, but particularly seafood, and because lemons are a staple of the Amalfi coast, try a gremolata of fresh minced herbs. The herbs can be combined in almost any ratio that is to your liking, and you can substitute thyme, cilantro or other herbs, and add garlic – or chili peppers – for a bite. You could even add capers or anchovies! But the classic ingredients are parsley, lemon and salt. And olive oil, of course.
Chop finely and mix together:
1 Tbl. of parsley
zest of one lemon
salt to taste
generous amount of olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of parsley
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup of lemon juice
zest of one organic lemon
generous pinch of salt
1 pkg of De Cecco Spaghetti
small handful of course salt
reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water (to elongate the sauce – as needed)
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add salt and cook pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, simmer on low heat 1/4 cup of olive oil, garlic, and half the parsley, for three minutes.
2. Add half the lemon juice and the drained pasta to the sauce immediately, toss. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to elongate the sauce and keep the pasta fluid. Add the rest of the lemon juice and the zest of one lemon.Toss again gently in the sauce pan. Serve immediately.
3. Brighten with last bit of parsley and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
If you would like to try our Captain Antonio’s recipe, squeeze three or four lemons into the cooking water of the pasta. Grate lemon zest and add it to the pasta after it cooked and tossed with with garlic and olive oil. It looks like cheese!
In Amalfi, we found ourselves off the beaten path and in the kitchen of a dear friend’s mother, who taught us to make a traditional Pasticciotto Napoletano, Pastry Cream Pie with Black Cherries. Notice the way that she uses her hands—both to punctuate her speech and to mix the batter! Find the full recipe for this lovely (and easy!) dessert HERE.
1 lb of fresh white fish
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup black olives
2 cloves of garlic, smashed, sliced
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
a splash of white wine
salt and pepper
to taste (remember the olives)
or: use a bit of crushed red pepperoncino for pizzazz!
Rinse the fish and set aside. Chop cherry tomatoes in half. Mise en place the extra virgin olive oil, olives, garlic, tomatoes, basil and fish.
Choose appropriate frying pan. Add olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. Toss around in the pan for 5 minutes. Add olives and basil. Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add fish on top of the sauce. Salt and pepper the fish, or pop it with the pepperoncino. Splash the pan with the white wine. Cook on low-medium heat. Put on a lid and let it steam for 5 minutes.
Check your fish for “done-ness” by touching it. If it springs back, it should be done, along with an aroma of cooked fish. Flip the fish if needed, otherwise turn off the heat and let it steam for another few minutes. Check for flavor balance, adding another pinch of salt if needed.
Serve the fish by spooning the sauce over it. Add a fresh leaf of basil for garnish.
Zuppa di Pesce? si..but also Risotto Pescatore
1 kilo of fresh prawns
3 fresh squid
1/2 kilo of vongole verace (clams)
2 red mullet
a few cherry tomatoes
1 can of cherry tomatoes, peeled
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
a bunch of parsley, chopped
fine salt to taste
pepperoncino (cayenne) a dash to taste [Read more…]