Showing posts filed under: Recipes Clear

Recipe: Pesto of Finochietto Selvatico

It’s artichoke season and artichokes are everywhere in Sant’Ambrogio, the most beloved market in Florence. I can’t wait to get my hands on them. I take a walk and look all over for the ones that look the freshest to me. I want the leaves tight and compact, so that when I peel them back to expose the delicate interior, I want to slice into a crisp heart. They will also have the best flavor. I will sauté them lightly for a moment with olive oil, garlic and peperoncino and toss with spaghetti. It’s my favorite spring dish. I’ve chosen the organic stand of Maria Meo. She is quite reserved. You have to take a ticket and wait a fairly long time. She has signs everywhere saying “Non Toccare”. Don’t touch. There is no other organic stand, certainly not one with a take-a-ticket box, or signs that say don’t touch- in the entire market. It’s serious business. I personally have never seen such a tough organic female farmer, but I appreciate what she’s doing. I am also eyeing the wild fennel fronds; finocchietto selvatico. I know something about wild fennel from spending time in Sicily. But I am not in Sicily and the idea of making a pesto with the fronds, with almonds, garlic and olive oil has caused my imagination to flare. I wait and wait my turn and think of other things I might take home other that the coveted artichokes and the fronds. Lemons, yes. A few apples, yes. When all of sudden I feel two ladies standing nearby staring at me.

Recipe: Fave Crude e Pecorino

This is a spring salad that I would eat every year at Cibreo, my favorite restaurant in Florence. Fabio Picchi, chef/owner, would practically shell the fave into the bowl in front of you. It’s a simple salad but one that I eat with reverence now that Fabio has passed. February …

“Ghriba” Moroccan Tea Biscuit Recipe

I’ve always loved these crackled almond tea cookies from the time I’ve spent in Morocco and when I saw this recipe from Susan Spungen of Susanality, with the delicious spin of adding raw chopped pistachio and edible rose petal sugar, I knew it was time to test them out again.  …

Cauliflower Paté with Turmeric and Chili

I love to play with my food. In this case, this doesn’t mean fondling, squishing it between my fingers or throwing it up in the air. It’s like painting. I like to have a a few raw ingredients in front of me and let my imagination go to town.What flavors …

Travel @ Home: Lamb Kitchari Congee

My good friend psychotherapist Renato Palma in Florence once told me, “Peggy, Peggy, non devi mai spiegarti”. You never have to explain yourself. As a southern girl, explaining yourself was a popular past time, whether any one wanted to listen or not. The bank teller, the checkout clerk, one’s father …

Once upon a time in Bangkok; momentarily revisited

What you see is more delicious than it looks. Larb is a Thai salad that I love to make in the summer. It’s cool, spicy and tangy.
Walking the streets of Bangkok in the heat begs you to duck into one of those small barely covered cafe’s and slurp spicy Tom yam Kung. So counter-intuitive to eat when you are dripping with sweat. But it works. The spice delights and cools you down. But sometimes, I prefer something a little meatier. A protein lift that is cool with generous lime, chili and cilantro. You fill a lettuce leaf and crunch into this juicy, limey, toothsome wrap, swigged with a frosty Thai beer and sigh. Ready to hit the streets refreshed. Tuk! Tuk!

1 pound of ground meat. It could be lamb, beef, chicken or turkey

1 or 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers

3 limes, juiced

1 fresh red onion, fresh if possible, cut in thin half moon slices. Half for sauteing, half for adding to the salad, raw.

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped finely

1 T olive oil

good salt and pepper

Put a drizzle of e.v.olive oil in a pan. Add half of the onion and sauté. Add the ground meat of your choice and brown.

Add salt and pepper . Put in a bowl.  Take the other ingredients that you have chopped and juiced and add them to the bowl. Correct for seasoning. Enjoy! Sawadee Ka!




Recipe: Tomato Flan

  Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened plum tomatoes 1 envelope (about 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin 1/3 cup fresh basil or flat-leafed parsley leaves (or a combination of both), washed well, spun dry, and chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 small hot red chili, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves), …