BERGAMO, BUBBLE TEA and TOADS

(Please check out my website: https://healingplantfoodsandspices.org/) Does anyone remember tapioca from their childhood? It was one of those hugely divisive puddings which herded all of us kids into two camps: lovers (that was me!) or haters and was referred to disparagingly as “frogspawn”…. which, I have to say, it had an uncanny resemblance to. Well…… Continue reading BERGAMO, BUBBLE TEA and TOADS

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

ITALIAN MOUNTAIN FOOD: ‘PIZZOCCHERI’ with ZUCCA, CAVOLO NERO & PRIMROSES

  “Arriverdeci Winter” – “Benvenuto Spring” I always have a slight moment of panic when trekking through forests and mountains we haven’t been in before. It’s always exhilarating (actually mainly afterwards) but there’s that tiny niggle of fear that we could be on the wrong track – after all you can’t see anything through the trees -…… Continue reading ITALIAN MOUNTAIN FOOD: ‘PIZZOCCHERI’ with ZUCCA, CAVOLO NERO & PRIMROSES

ITALIAN PORCINI TEMPURA with PROSECCO & BALSAMIC VINEGAR DIP

  I’m up to my ears in Porcini – not a phrase that’s often bandied about these days  – especially outside Italy! I frightened the guy at my local market the other day with my excitement at the sight of fresh porcini sitting on his stall. He poor man was mortified as he thought I’d spied some horrific creepy-crawly…… Continue reading ITALIAN PORCINI TEMPURA with PROSECCO & BALSAMIC VINEGAR DIP

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 CHERVIL, PEA & ALMOND CREAM SOUP with VIOLETS

It was one of those slightly blah Sundays when even a trip to the Swedish giant IKEA was holding a weird sort of allure. Not that I’m one of those women described by an Italian comedienne as having a frisson of sexual excitement at the thought of a visit. How deeply sad would that be…… Continue reading FRESH CHERVIL, PEA & ALMOND CREAM SOUP with VIOLETS

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’