“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Versilia, Italy!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Insalata di fichi (fig salad)

        
Fast, simple, quick and easy but insanely delicious.  When adding figs life just becomes instantly decadent in my opinion.  My instant association and probably most Italians is to enjoy figs with prosciutto.  I like to eat figs picked straight from the tree as they have just been ripened from the summers sun.  Most Italian  households with serve a bowl of lettuce and tomatoes as a salad option with most meals, however this salad is a little more special.  Enjoy it on it's own and soak up the remaining juices with some crusty bread or present it as a side dish.  The figs can  be lightly grilled if desired however I like to enjoy them fresh.
What you need:
4 fresh figs cut in quarters 
100g of goats cheese crumbled
1/2 cups fresh walnuts (crack from the shell)
100g fresh rocket leaves
1/4 cups in total (half olive oil, half balsamic vinegar)
100g prosciutto di Parma (optional)

1: Mix the oil and vinegar together.  Toss the rocket though the dressing until thoroughly coated.  Present the dressed rocket leaves on a large platter
2: Place the prosciutto on top then arrange the remaining ingredients in layers.  Alternatively serve the prosciutto on a side plate and serve with salad (or omit)

Insalata di rape rosse e noci (beetroot and walnut salad)


I apologise for the lapse between recipe sharing.  In fact I have found myself spending an extended amount of time in my hometown Melbourne.  In saying that, I enthusiastically have continued cooking for my friends and family.  Some of my followers have asked for some easy salad recipes, so now I am going to share some amazingly easy but more importantly tasty salads I have made during my summer.  This particular beetroot salad is really easy to make and offers a diverse range of flavours. I love the contrast between bitter and sweet and the creamy and crunchy textures. I remember the thrill of seeing huge bunches of dirty beetroot being sold by street vendours in Italy with the lovely bushy leaves intact. Beetroot has been used in Italian cooking for centuries and was first commerically cultivated along the Mederteranian coast.  This recipe is in no way traditional and I have not witnessed it on any menus in Italy, however I have seen similar variations in Italian cookbooks (generally always including a cheese, fruit or nut).  This is my interpretation and I hope this will make my Italian friends proud (I am sure they would happily eat it, and that's saying something)!.  A perfect accompaniment with a chicken or meat dish.
What you need:
three large organic beetroot
100g of goats cheese crumbled
1/2 cups fresh walnuts (crack from the shell)
100g fresh rocket leaves
handful fresh mint leaves
1/4 cups in total (half olive oil, half balsamic vinegar)
How to makes:
1: Remove leaves from beetroot but leave about 2cm of the steam as this will help retain the colour of the beetroot during the boiling process
2: Add beetroot to a large pot of boiling water, make sure the beetroot is covered in the water.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  The time will vary slightly depending on how large the beetroot is.  Cook until a skewer easily pierces the beetroot.
3: Once the beetroot is cooked run under cold water.  Use your hands to gently rub and remove the skin whilst running under cold water
4: Mix oil and vinegar together and toss though the rocket leaves.  Place dressed rocket on a large platter
5: Add roughly chopped beetroot, and remaining ingredients