Fiori di zucchina or zucchini blossoms

This post is an oxymoron. The first of October I couldn't find anything better but zucchini blossom?
When I was in Italy, I used to buy the small emergent zucchini with still the blossoms on it.
I haven't found this flowers very often here, until I started to be a "regular" at the FarmersMarket.
I know, I know.. they are not in season any more, but  the other day I couldn't resist. They had a deep and bright yellow color and the weather was still so warm, it was like summertime! They were calling me, so I got them. There!

The "fiori di zucchina" can be prepared in different ways: stuffed with cheese or dipped in a batter and fried.
And that's how I like them. 
Yesterday, happen that I found this amazing pink Himalayan salt in my pantry to shave on top: delicious combination I would say!

Fiori di zucchina fritti

(for 2 persons human being, you and your cat ;)
12 zucchini flowers with stems
3 tbs all purpose flour
3 tbs rice flour
a pinch of  pink Himalayan salt (regular salt will be just fine)
cold sparkling water (or cold tonic water)
vegetable oil for frying

Pour 2 or 3 inches of oil in a pan and heat it to 375`F.
Combine the all purpose flour, the rice flour and the salt in a bowl.
Add enough sparkling water to make a not too thin batter.
Dip the flowers in the batter and fry them until golden (few sec per side).
Drain the fried flowers on a paper towel and sprinkle a little more salt while they are still hot.
Buon appetito and don't blame me :D


Onion salad: a souvenir d'Italie

When I started this blog last year, I didn't immediatly realize how hard could have been for me  write in English; in a understendable English, I mean.
So, I gave up.
What am I doing here one year later?
Well, I really want my "spot". A place only mine where hopefully  I can express myself.
Chances are that in one year  I improved my English a bit, and maybe write a post it won't take me forever.

So, The post is about souvenirs from Italy.
This onion salad is one!



Gazpacho soup usually referred to as gazpacho, is a cold Spanish soup originating in the Southern region of Andalusia. It descends from an ancient Andalusian concoction based on a combination of Bread, Olive oil, Vinegar, salt, tomatoes and bell pepper.
It is well known all over the world today.

Coconut scented squid

For 6 people
- 2 pounds of clean and boiled (till tender) squid
- 1 yellow diced bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes (diced without the seeds or liquid )
- 1 coconut
- Juice of 1 lime
- 7 to 8 basil leaves
- 6 tbs of e.v.o.o.
- Salt and pepper

Slice the squid and put it in a big bowl.
Add the bell pepper and the tomatoes.
Now open the coconut. Save the coconut milk.
Make an emulsion with a 1/4 of cup of the coconut milk, the e.v.o.o., the lime juice, and the basil .
Toss the salad with this emulsion. Taste to adjust salt and pepper.
Slice some coconut on top of the salad and serve.


10 e lode: Pat's "pasta con le fave"

In late spring and early summer fresh fava beans are plentiful and you can find them in most grocery stores that have a good produce selection. I think one of the best ways to enjoy these incredible, bright green beans is to eat them in a traditional roman pasta that has just a few, but very fresh ingredients. Some folks think that removing the fava beans from the pod and then removing the skins is too much work, but one of the great things about doing this dish is you can shell the beans with friends and family, which gives the final product even more impact. In fact a few of my really good friends got together for my birthday and prepared this wonderful sauce for me. Thank you Janice, Andrea and Pat.


Something more for your picnics

Insalata di riso

1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 pound small diced green beans (already blanched)
1 cup canned peas
1/2 pound italian ham (if you don't find the Italian ham, regular ham would be fine)
1/2 cup kalamata pitted olives (black or green or both)
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup small diced Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup small diced canned artichokes (marinated in oil)
1 cup small diced of vegetables antipasto (carrots, grilled bell peppers, cauliflower)
1 cup of cherry mozzarella cheese
2 cans of yellowfin tuna fish
3 hard boiled eggs diced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rice, stir, and adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent any grains from sticking to the pot, until the rice is just barely done, about 15 minutes. It will continue to cook as it cools. Drain the rice well and spread it out on a tray to cool quickly.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice, green beans, peas, artichokes, basil, olives, the antipasto veggies, lemon zest, ham, the eggs, the tuna cans and the cheeses. Season the salad with a generous amount of salt and black pepper.Toss with your hands to blend and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.
For a vegetarian dish, simply don't add the ham and the tuna. The taste will still be great.
Best served at room temperature.

It's pic nic time!!

Ah, the weather is perfect right now, and soon we'll have time to enjoy ourselves. Some of you will take a little vacation, others (like me :!) will work the whole summer! It doesn't matter, we'll always find a way to enjoy these gorgeous days and one of the best -for me- is a picnic.
A picnic is always exciting, especially if you find the right spot and you get the right food!
I like to have a little bit of everything in my basket: pasta, veggies, meat, panini, fruit and dessert. A little something to satisfy everybody! And also I want food which tastes good even if I don't have a fire available for cooking.
With this in mind, the following recipes are good warm, but even better eaten cold, the next day!!!

Gratin Vegetables

A sheet pan for roasting the veggies
-2 zucchini
-2 eggplants
-2 yellow bell peppers
-2 red onions
-2 potatoes
-10 cherry tomatoes
-salt, pepper, e.v.o.o., breadcrumbs,
-parchment paper

Preheat the oven at 350°
Cover the sheet pan with the parchment paper
Cut all the veggies in pieces not too big.
Put them on the pan t and mix them with some e.v.o.o., salt, pepper and a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs and then more e.v.o.o., salt, pepper and breadcrumbs.
(Remember, a little oil goes a long way)
Let the veggies roast in the oven on the middle rack for about 1/2 an hour.
Then sprinkle them with some more breadcrumbs and "just" a drizzle of e.v.o.o.
Put them back in the oven for another half hour. They are ready when they have a nice golden crust. .
Let them cool and pack them ready for your picnic ;)