Giulio and I are headed on a weekend trip to Trentino, which is a snowy escape in Northern Italy. Since I’m only in it for the food, I am looking forward to the change in culinary pace. We country Tuscan folk don’t have very exciting lives and its nice to get away from all the wild boar and ragù pastas.
I’ve taken my nonna’s recipe and picked it apart to create this simple winter Italian salad. Most people don’t realise you can eat a lot of winter greens raw. I remember the first time (and the second, third, fourth, fifth) time I served my mum raw green beans. She was not and is still not too impressed about them, but I love the crunch and the fresh flavour. It’s the same with the raw broccoli, fennel and purple cabbage I’ve used in this recipe. They are all delicious raw and super good for you because you’re not boiling out all the vitamins and nutrients. Since I was really keen to get my five a day into this salad, I’ve also used fresh green chilli (they’re a vegetable, right?) and chicory, a bitter local salad green that’s like rocket if all it ate was lemons.
Happy Monday! The weekend for us usually starts with a trip to the local market. Giulio absolutely hates it because you can never go more than a few feet without having to stop to talk to someone, but I like the sense of community. You’d think living in a small town in Tuscany would be full of community fun… like the movie Chocolat but in Italian… in reality, it’s not like that.
Zeppole are mini Italian doughnuts (or donuts?). Actually, they’re not as fatty, greasy or as decadent as American doughnuts. There’s no thick glaze or creamy filling. But before you turn away in disgust, there are sultanas! The least exciting of all the dried fruits, but trust me, these are delicious!
The recipe is actually my nonna’s. I’m not sure if she ever celebrated carnevale as a kid in Calabria. They were pre-WWII years and my grandmother was an orphan living the Cinderella story (sans Prince Charming), so probably not.
Christmas is just around the corner and I couldn’t resist the urge to share a favourite family recipe. Florentines are gorgeous, gooey and decadent. Despite their name, they aren’t really from Florence, but are a classic Italian holiday biscuit that is shared and devoured with guilty pleasure all over the country.