HARVEST FESTIVAL, PEPPERS & AN ‘INNER GLOW’: with Red Pepper Salsa

It’s amazing to think that only a couple of weeks ago we were at the annual ‘Fiera del Peperone’ or Pepper Festival in Carmagnola, a well-known fixture on the Piemonte early autumn calendar. We were at the tail end of a long, blistering hot summer and still having to search for coolness, shade and chilled…… Continue reading HARVEST FESTIVAL, PEPPERS & AN ‘INNER GLOW’: with Red Pepper Salsa

VERGING ON PIZZA: Edible Wildflower ‘Pizzas’

Having narrowly avoided a minor car ‘incident’ today I just wanted to say a quick word about the Italian roundabout! You probably already assume – and why not – that a roundabout, as the name implies, is for driving ‘around’ with the idea of keeping traffic flowing fluidly and thereby easing congestion. However in Italy,…… Continue reading VERGING ON PIZZA: Edible Wildflower ‘Pizzas’

ARTICHOKES AT THE DOOR: Raw Artichoke & Fennel Salad with Pecorino & Barley Flour Crumb

My honey arrived this morning. Not some random sweetheart of mine but actual raw-honey-in-a-pot brought right to the door……delivered fresh, almost dripping, from bee-hives near Lago d’Iseo by the beekeeper or apicoltore himself. Che bella Italia! This time, rather delightfully – and coincidentally in time for Valentine’s Day – I was not only presented with…… Continue reading ARTICHOKES AT THE DOOR: Raw Artichoke & Fennel Salad with Pecorino & Barley Flour Crumb

VENETIAN-STYLE ‘CICCHETTI’ & BAGPIPES in COMACCHIO

After a difficult year last year (I apologise for no postings) I asked for 2017 to be full of new and exciting experiences and….wham!.. the universe came right back with its own humorous response…. ..Eels and Zampogna for you!  Eels or ‘anguille’ are pretty self-explanatory and they came mixed in with other deep-fried fish &…… Continue reading VENETIAN-STYLE ‘CICCHETTI’ & BAGPIPES in COMACCHIO

UNDERCOVER PORCINI: Italian-style Porcini Tempura

‘Porcini mushrooms are scarce this year’ was the word on the street. I had been searching for fresh porcini for a while but everyone kept telling me that it’d been such a hot summer that the harvest was bad and fresh porcini hard to find. But then came the rain and porcini apparently started popping…… Continue reading UNDERCOVER PORCINI: Italian-style Porcini Tempura

GUEST BLOGS: ‘THE ALTA LANGHE’ and ‘RECIPES FROM PIEDMONT’

   I know, I know!……I’m sorry I’m way behind on my blog but I?m working on the next one right now and thereafter I should be up to speed! I haven’t been idly lounging around sunning myself on a palm-edged beach – more’s the pity! But I had an exciting offer from Turin Italy Guide asking if I’d like to write…… Continue reading GUEST BLOGS: ‘THE ALTA LANGHE’ and ‘RECIPES FROM PIEDMONT’

A SHEPHERD’S OPEN SANDWICH

I stopped and chatted with a nomadic pastore this morning as he grazed his flock along the river. Well strictly speaking he, being nomadic, stopped to chat to me! We talked sheep and finding the best pastures – one of us quite a lot more knowledgeable than the other! He and his dog are slowly…… Continue reading A SHEPHERD’S OPEN SANDWICH

FRESH HERB, CHICKPEA & SPRING FLOWER ‘FARINATA’

I can’t believe it’s exactly a year since that grey, misty day on the cliffs near Porto Venere, Cinque Terra when I stood gazing out at the Atlantic ocean, my cold hands clasping a steaming brown-paper package. Inside nestled a large hot slice of fresh-from-the-pan farinata, a sort of flat chickpea (or ceci) pizza. Oh…… Continue reading FRESH HERB, CHICKPEA & SPRING FLOWER ‘FARINATA’

ROSE-PETAL GOATS’ CHEESE & DARK BUCKWHEAT CRACKERS

I thought I’d take a different slant on St. Valentine’s Day this year…and focus on Goats! Not in a romantic way I hasten to add..…but because it happens to be Chinese New Year on February 19th and we enter The Year of the Goat – with its potential of bringing us more peace and harmony.…… Continue reading ROSE-PETAL GOATS’ CHEESE & DARK BUCKWHEAT CRACKERS