October 13, 2012 by Giulietta
The origin of this recipe lies in a contest created by Switzerland Cheeses in collaboration with Tery of Peperoni e Patate, entitled “Switzerland in a dish“.
This contest asked to create one or two original recipes, inspired by the Italian gastronomic tradition, but using POD Swiss cheeses.
So, thinking about a dish that fully represents the Italian tradition, but at the same time very customizable, I immediately thought about lasagne (we all love the classic Bolognese lasagne, but I often twist them – take a look at my pesto, potatoes and green beans lasagne or curly hard wheat lasagne with eggplant sauce and smoked scamorza). So, thinking about a sauce that would harmonize well with the two Swiss cheeses I chose, Gruyère POD and Sbrinz POD, I chose a zucchini cream with a béchamel adding.
The result was a white and green lasagna, in which zucchini, béchamel and cheeses were married to perfection, creating a delicate and yet tasty dish.
Surely these lasagne are different from the usual (in fact you could call them doubly Swiss – for the origin of the cheeses I used, and because I’ve always heard the term “Swiss” as a synonym for “weird, wacky,”…who knows why?!), in which the Italian tradition is contaminated, creating a new and delicious dish.
Category Cheese, Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Italian cuisine, Pasta, Vegetables | Tags: béchamel,cheese,contest,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,gruyère,italian cuisine,sbrinz,single course,swiss cheese,switzerland,vegetables,zucchini | 13 Comments
August 21, 2012 by Giulietta
Today we talk about cinema, and the opportunity to speak of this love of mine (I'm saying I want to take a second degree in history of cinema long before taking my first degree … ok, I have a problem) comes from an amazing contest, organised by Patty of Andante con gusto in collaboration with Lagostina. For this contest I was asked to describe a comedy through a recipe.
I had to take up the challenge! And, thinking about a comedy, the first one that came to my mind was Little Miss Sunshine, one of the movies that I loved the most in recent years, a comedy out of the box and with tragicomic tone.
Category Cheese, Cinema, Contest, Earth first course, First course, Fresh pasta, Herbs, Home-made is better, Pasta, Spices, Vegetables | Tags: cinema,contest,earth first course,first course,fresh pasta,herbs,home-made is better,mint,pasta,ricotta cheese,saffron,spices,vegetables,zucchini | 6 Comments
July 18, 2012 by Giulietta
Yes, I admit it, I want to dry out in the sun (not in my garden, anymore), I want beach and seaside. But I don't want these things so much that I started to feel the smell or the sound of the sea in a bunch of zucchini .. I need a vacation, but not so badly! The scent of the sea (the Ligurian sea, to be accurate. But, given my revisions, it's the Ligurian side nearest to Piedmont) is in the stuffing of these zucchini.
In a few days I'll leave for my holidays (it's likely that the next post will be written from another place), in a few days I'll see the sea again: every year I feel nostalgic about the sea, and every year I look forward to seeing it again, excited like a child with his favourite toy. And passing the time while waiting, I comfort myself with these delicious stuffed zucchini that scent like summer and sea, and with Baudelaire's beautiful words about this blue mirror that
I love (and miss) so much.
Man And The Sea
Free man! the sea is to thee ever dear!
The sea is thy mirror, thou regardest thy soul
In its mighteous waves that unendingly roll,
And thy spirit is yet not a chasm less drear.
Thou delight'st to plunge deep in thine image down;
Thou tak'st it with eyes and with arms in embrace,
And at times thine own inward voice would'st efface
With the sound of its savage ungovernable moan.
You are both of you, sombre, secretive and deep:
Oh mortal, thy depths are foraye unexplored,
Oh sea–no one knoweth thy dazzling hoard,
You both are so jealous your secrets to keep!
And endless ages have wandered by,
Yet still without pity or mercy you fight,
So mighty in plunder and death your delight:
Oh wrestlers! so constant in enmity!
Charles Baudelaire, "Les fleurs du mal"
Category Dried fruit, Herbs, Liguria, Regional Italian cooking, Second course, Vegetables | Tags: anchovy,capers,dried fruit,Liguria,mackerel,marjoram,pine nuts,regional italian cuisine,round zucchini,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 5 Comments
July 3, 2012 by Giulietta
Do you like the hot weather? Do you like summer? Well, I don't mind that, except when the heat is excessive and, for business or pleasure, I find myself in a kitchen, maybe with one (or more) oven turned on in it .. then in this period I ALWAYS crave for something that requires baking, but this indubitably a mental tare of mine (ipse dixit after baking, in the last three days, lasagna, pizza, appetisers, crème brulee, stuffed peaches and more … yes, I agree with what you're thinking but you're not saying: I do have some serious mental tare).
Obviously I really crave for cool or cold things (I am stupid, but only to a certain point), but have you ever thought of this great, inevitable and cruel truth of life: the things that you like to eat cold, you definitely have to cook them, sooner or later. And there you have to suffer a hot temperature, isn't it?
But come on, grit your teeth and cook (maybe in the evening, when the whether is cooler), so you'll have a fridge full of delicacies that can be enjoyed fresh, cool or cold.
And, if you want an idea for a rice salad different from the usual one, this is for you, a real gem of the spring/summer collection, with Venere rice, shrimps, tuna, zucchini, fresh peas and asparagus with a squeeze of lime and tuna mayonnaise.
Do you like it?! So what are you waiting for?!
Category First course, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: asparagus,cold dishes,lime,pasta rice and cereals salads,peas,shrimps,single course,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 2 Comments
December 6, 2011 by Giulietta
I return to the charge with my lazy posts .. and this is lazy squared!
Why lazy squared? First of all because this is a quick preparation: it won't waste much of your time or attention. And, secondly, because once you've got your cube, you can afford to be lazy for four to five months (it will last this long), you can get a vegetable broth in a second (for risotto, to add to meat preparations, for a broth if you're ill) and you can have always at your fingertips a great seasonings (I often use it instead of salt) made with fresh and healthy ingredients (ok, I sound like a baby food advertising).
Believe me, if you already use stock-cubes, this will change your mind about what a stock-cube really is. If you don't use stock-cubes, you'll begin to use this one.
I learned this recipe at a recent cooking class about meat preparations, and I won't leave it!
Category Concentrated, Conserve, Cooking for dummies, Herbs, Vegetables | Tags: bay leaves,carrots,celery,concentrated,conserve,cooking for dummies,herbs,onions,rosemary,stock-cube,tomatoes,vegetables,zucchini | 18 Comments
November 2, 2011 by Giulietta
As you might have noticed, all the recipes that begin with "a lazy .." not only are lazy (aka very easy) recipes, useful when you don't have much time or you lack (but you still want to eat something good), but my laziness also involves my photographic skills: I'm not Helmut Newton, but in those cases my skills almost disappear.
Sometimes, it's also because of a bad timing … for example, I made these fritters for a dinner party at a friend's house. I didn't made a picture when I made them, and then I remembered to take a photo during the dinner, but I found just one fritter left, and yet I was lucky .. at least there was one left!
In short, when I'm lazy, I'm really lazy .. but the fritters are very good, and this is the important thing! These fritters (well, their recipe) came from my boyfriend's family .. it's his mother's recipe, his sister passed it to me and I made the batter with my boyfriend's supervision.. so, a foursome performance!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Fried food, Fritters and frittata, Herbs, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,fried food,fritters,fritters and frittata,herbs,mint,vegetables,zucchini | 27 Comments
July 29, 2011 by Giulietta
With this recipe, I broke all records for title length … in fact, I could only put a "Viendalmare" (in Eglish, literally, "Comesfromthesea": in Italian, it's a fake aristocratic and pompous surname, famous for the movie "Fantozzi") at the end of it, in loving memory of Fantozzi!
But in this case I couldn't shorten anything, for the sake of completeness. And so, adding syllables and syllables, I came up with the long -but very complete -"Cous cous shapes with Genoese pesto, zucchini and pine nuts on Taleggio cheese sauce". If you have read so far, you've already done half the work: now it's all downhill.
First of all, it must be said that this recipe is not mine (too many combination to be a figment of my simple mind), but it came from Giallo Zafferano (I made just a few changes here and there); my mom discovered it and, even if I don't know what she was looking for, she fell in love with it … and so we got here. The singles procedures to make this cold cous cous are not complex, but you need a little time to prepare everything and assemble the dish: and, let's admit it, it looks -and tastes- great.
The result is a dish of simple and full flavors, that match perfectly with each other: every single part of this dish could be eaten alone and be good, but the forkful that collects everything is the tastier.
Category Cheese, Cold dishes, Dried fruit, Earth first course, First course, Herbs, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: basil,cheese,cold dishes,dried fruit,earth first course,first course,herbs,parmigiano,pasta rice and cereals salads,pesto,pine nuts,single course,taleggio,vegetables,zucchini | 8 Comments
July 15, 2011 by Giulietta
Ok, I admit it, I invented this recipe's name … but I invented the recipe, so I can claim the right to name it, or not? But I chose this name not by accident: both the rice and the ingredients I used for this recipe smelled like the Mediterranean, in my humble opinion, so why don't give the recipe the name of this sea and of this enclave of Countries that, somehow, contributed to its genesis?
I was looking for a cold first course for one of my birthday parties (yes, I chose to make a cold dinner and, of course, the night I celebrated there were more or less 20° C… typical!) and I didn't want to make my classic rice salad, which is a bit banal …. so, starting from the beginning, ie rice, I made a replacement, and instead of "normal" rice I chose a more special, refined one, the riz rouge de Camargue, which is perfect for salads, 'cause it stays firm after cooking, and 'cause is very crisp.
Reading here and there some information about this colorful and crisp rice, I read that one of the recommended combinations was with fish, so … why don't make a sea rice salad?! And so appeared shrimps and tuna/mackerel filets. But I had to put some vegetables (I love them) … and so I put some crispy celery, sauté zucchini and, for a real Mediterranean taste, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives -with their stone (I know that olives are not strictly vegetables, but grant me this unfair allocation). And yet something was missing … herbs, maybe Occitan ones … and so I added oregano, thyme and marjoram. Add some dressing (lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, a few tablespoons of dried tomato patè), et voila, you're done! This was more or less my thought process that, from the first choice (rice) led to the creation of a brand new rice salad, very tasty and crunchy, perfect for a dinner with friends (you can serve it in single portions, putting 3 or 4 tablespoons of rice salad in a pudding mold, and then turning it upside down, as you see in the first two pictures) or for a picnic (blessed be the Tupperwares) in good company.
Category Cold dishes, First course, Herbs, Pasta rice and cereals salads, Sea first course, Shellfishes, Single course, Vegetables | Tags: black olives,celery,first course,fish,mackerel,pasta rice and cereals salads,riz rouge de Camargue,sea first course,shellfishes,shrimps,tuna,vegetables,zucchini | 12 Comments
July 3, 2011 by Giulietta
When you have some good seasonal vegetables and some tasty cheese, one of the easiest things to do, if you also have some puff pastry, is a quiche: cook the vegetables, mix some cheese, fill the quiche and bake … at this point the quiche will do everything by itself, and a mixture of ingredients, random or not (there are some quiche called empty-your-fridge, for example), will always become something great (well, if you have in the fridge only tuna fish eggs, lemons and strawberry jam I don't guarantee the result).
But sometimes the idea of the classic quiche (for me is almost always an open one, ie not covered with a layer of puff pastry) doesn't attract me, and the other day was just one of those days … so, from the union of two evil minds (mine, of course, and my boyfriend's – birds of a feather) is born this simple -but effective- alternative to the traditional quiche (which I still love ,uh).
I insisted I wanted to make single-portion quiche, little bundle turnovers more pleasing to the eye, while my boyfriend bashed on with something else: instead of chopped vegetables and cheese, he wanted a creamy filling made with vegetables and cheese. In short, we tried to satisfy both ideas and, despite some moments of panic ("Oh, I can't detach the turnovers from the pan") the experiment worked: the turnovers were pleasant to the eye, perfect (more than the usual quiche) for appetizer (sooooo finger food) and the creamy filling was very delicate. Sometimes the union of evil minds produces some good ideas (and don't say I didn't give merit to my boyfriend, huh?)!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Cheese, Quiche and savory muffins, Vegetables | Tags: appetizer and finger food,cheese,gorgonzola,puff pastry,quiche,quiche and salted muffins,turnovers,vegetables,zucchini | 30 Comments
June 1, 2011 by Giulietta
For some time now I was intrigued by an unusual course, sweet or salty, called crumble, 'cause it has a layer made of fruits/vegetables /meat or fish (these latter two types are less common) covered with a layer of crumbs, sweet or salty. Everything is baked in the oven and the result is crunchy outside, warm and soft inside and, as far as I'm concerned, also a little thready.
In fact, despite I looked for some time with alluring eyes sweet crumble recipes (apples, berries, cherries and so on), in the end I was enthralled by the salty ones, that attract me even more.
And what could enchant more than a crumble where one of my favorite vegetables, zucchini, were combined with fresh mint and Greek feta cheese?! Nothing else could get as straight to my heart (or my stomach) as this wonderful, quick and easy recipe by Elga (aka Semi di Papavero) for a perfect zucchini crumble! I just made a tiny change, increasing the amount of zucchini.
Needless to say, to the left you can see the raw layer of vegetables, and to the right you can see also the layer of crumble, already baked!
Category Appetizer and Finger food, Herbs, Side dish, Vegetables | Tags: butter,cheese,crumble,feta cheese,herbs,mint,side dish,vegetables,zucchini | 17 Comments