Roasted potatoes are perhaps the ultimate comfort cold weather food.. What makes this dish Italian are the seasonings. The combination of garlic and rosemary is the distinctive aroma of Italian roasts. Breathing it is as one enters the house makes one’s mouth water in anticipation. For me, it is the smell of tranquility.
Category Archives: Vegetables
Usually prepared and served out of a small shack that may have a few plastic tables, piadina is a flat bread that is chewy but tender. Until not very long ago it used to be the everyday bread of Romagna. It is baked to order on a griddle (traditionally made of terracotta) and served with a variety of salumi, cured meats, and cheeses. One of our favorite toppings is sautéed mixed greens using a combination of mild and slightly bitter greens. It is both savory and soothing. Even without piadina, it is a side dish Giuliano often enjoys making. Made with Savoy cabbage, Swiss chard, and broccoli rabe, it appeared most recently on our Thanksgiving table.
Not only do the ingredients look good together, the flavors complement each other perfectly. The simplicity of using only onions and marjoram, and patient sautéing to bring out the sweetness of the squash and grape tomatoes, makes this recipe distinctively Italian.
Of course, most children won’t like anything remotely bitter, but I’ve discovered how to eliminate that bitterness, and our kids, who love artichokes, also love cardoons.
Beets are often shunned, yet they are a favorite in our home. Baked fresh beets have a rich, sweet flavor that our kids love.
“Italian dressing” is about as Italian as spaghetti with meatballs or chicken Tetrazzini. That is, you won’t find any in Italy. Instead of a recipe, we have a proverb for how to dress a good Italian salad.
This easy recipe is so good, that you will find yourself sneaking some before serving, and there are rarely any leftovers.
In Italy eating is of supreme importance and a cardinal rule is that local food is the best and freshest. Therefore, anything nostrano “ours”, is more expensive and desirable than anything imported. In Venice, local fish is more prized than anything else.
I sliced the king oyster mushrooms but just cut off the root of the others and used them whole. I sautéed them with olive oil, onions, garlic, and parsley, then cooked the risotto. It was a hit and thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family along with a Morellino di Scansano (for Lael and me, of course).
We have come to see the Gazzani rice mill. It has been in continuous operation since 1648 and still uses the mortar and pestle method that is found in only one other place in Italy.