Showing posts filed under: Sicily 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: Peachy Peach Cocktail

When I was young, my favorite thing to do in summer was to make homemade peach ice cream. I would turn cartwheels all the way over to Gladys’s house, two houses down past all the hydrangeas to watch her make the custard with fresh cream and bits of peach.

Recipe: Roast Pork Case Vecchie

This past May while in Sicily for our Culinary Adventure, Sicily: A Different Italy, we were served this succulent pork roast one evening at Case Vecchie in Regaleali. We paired the pork with artichokes covered in breadcrumbs, a light green salad just harvested from the organic gardens, roasted potatoes with …

Recipe: Sicilian Torte di Mandorle e Olio d’Oliva (Almond and Olive Oil Cake)

While in Sicily for our Sicily: A Different Italy Cooking Adventure, we cook with Fabrizia Lanza and her fabulous team at the Anna Tasca Cooking School, in Regaleali. Their amazing organic gardens, delectable wines and wonderful hospitality make for an unforgettable experience in Sicily’s introterra. And their delicious almond and olive …