Tuna and Artichoke salad

This simple salad is so versatile that you will not only love it but it will also become one of your favorite problem-solving recipes. In fact it makes a delicious appetizer, it’s ideal for lunch or for a picnic, it can be used in sandwiches, as a dip with raw vegetables or served on toasted whole-wheat bread for brunch.
Can you ask more from such an easy recipe?

Ingredients:

(serves 4)   A  Gf

  • 10 oz. of oil-packed canned white tuna
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper Continue reading

Strawberry Clafouti

Clafouti is a classic French dessert that can also become a very nice brunch dish. Its execution is very simple, yet the result is rich and pleasant.
It’s typically made with cherries (with their pit, so that all the flavor is maintained) but I propose this slight variation because cherries can be still watery at the beginning of their season, while strawberries are at their peak in May and June.
Keep enjoying
clafouti’s light texture all summer long, with different kinds of berries.

Ingredients:

(serves 6)   Sp  Sr  V   

  •  8 oz. of organic strawberries
  • ½ Tbsp. unsalted organic butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp. of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. of vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven at 350 F.
Grease a 2-quart baking dish with the butter. Continue reading

Farinata

Typical of the Northwestern part of Italy (Piedmont, Liguria and northern Tuscany), the name Farinata used to designate all recipes made with different flours and liquids, boiled until cooked and condensed, such as Polenta. Today, though, it refers to a very specific recipe made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Ideally,
Farinata should be cooked in a wood-burning oven, and that’s why it’s served in many Pizzerias. However, if you warm up your regular oven well in advance, the result is almost as good.
Farinata makes a very tasty, original appetizer or a nutritious snack. It can also be served as a side dish in a rustic meal.
Not only it’s delicious but also gluten-free!

Ingredients:

(serves 6)   F  W  Sp  V  B  Gf

  •  3 cups of chickpea flour
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Put the flour in a big bowl, make a hole in its center and start adding the water a little at a time, stirring well to avoid any lumps.
Mix slowly and with care so that the result is a very homogeneous mixture. Add the salt and let the farinata rest all night in the bowl. The following morning remove any foam that has formed on its surface. Continue reading

Veal with tuna sauce

Today I’m introducing this nice summer entrée or appetizer for the carnivores among you.
The combination of surf and turf might sound odd but it’s actually very agreeable.
If you prefer white meat, the veal can be replaced with turkey breast.

Ingredients:

(serves 6)    Sp  Sr Gf

  • 1 ½ lb. of veal (round loin or round eye) or turkey breast
  • 5 oz. of canned tuna, oil packed
  • 2 cups of dry white wine
  • 1 oz. of pickled capers (plus a few for decoration)
  • 1 small piece of lemon peel
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clover
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. of white vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Wash, dry and tie the meat with a string to keep it together while it’s cooking.
Put the white wine and enough water to cover the meat completely in a saucepan. Continue reading

I’m back!

Some of my aficionados have been complaining that I haven’t posted any new recipes in more than a week.
Where have I been? Simply outdoors, since it’s the time of the year when gardening is the most demanding of my activities and it cannot wait, forcing me to neglect my blog.

While the garden work is ceaseless and it peaks right now, up here at three thousand feet the growing season is short. We plant our summer veggies and annuals after Mother’s Day because a late frost can still surprise us, even in May. But, before we get to plant, we need to pull tons of weeds, amend and till the soil, check the irrigation, and do all those little things that every passionate garden does at springtime. Did I mention mowing the grass? That is a daily chore because, by the time you are finished with the last area of your yard, the grass has already grown back where you started.
As you can easily imagine, after many hours a day of such hard work, I’m so exhausted that I can’t even
think of writing recipes – least of all my articles – although I’ve missed my writing more than you’ve missed your reading, believe me. Continue reading

Pasta with Pesto Sauce

Let’s make a nice pasta dish, for a change. This is how they make it in the Italian Riviera, not just with the pesto sauce but with potatoes and green beans as well.
The result is surprisingly pleasant.

Ingredients:

(serves 4)    Sp  Sr  V  B  Gf (with rice pasta)

  • 8 oz. of durum semolina short pasta (penne or rotini)
  • 1 big potato or two medium yellow organic potatoes
  • ½ lb. organic green beans
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt

For the pesto sauce:

  • 25 leaves of fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. of pine nuts
  • 4-5 Tablespoons of Evoo
  • 1 ounce of pecorino cheese

Make the pesto sauce.
Wash the basil and remove the leaves from the stems. Combine 1 Tbsp. of pine nuts Continue reading

Buckwheat-flax crackers

Tired of eating those gluten-free, expensive crackers that taste all the same? Make your own!
These crackers are nutritious and tasty: chop, mix, spread and dry them in the oven: voilà!

Ingredients:

(serves 4)    A  V  B  Gf 

  • 1 cup of flaxseed soaked overnight
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat soaked overnight
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. of basil, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped
  • 1 bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 8 dried tomatoes, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. of curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of tamari sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Continue reading

Chia Porridge*

Ingredients:

(serves 2)    A  V  B  Gf

  • 3-4 Tbsp. of chia seeds
  • 2-3 dried sulfate-free fruits (like apricots, dates, prunes, etc.)
  • ½ cup of water or rice milk or carrot juice
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Cover the chia seeds and dried fruit with liquid (water or rice milk or carrot juice) and soak overnight.
The following morning add some fresh fruit, the cinnamon and more liquid (water, juice, heavy cream, rice milk, etc.) until you get the consistency you like.
Serve cold.
Chia seeds can be substituted with linseed.

* Recipe by Sonja Bachus

Of Mushrooms and Marmalade

I’m a strong believer in the old proverb that says that “What goes around, comes around”.
It might be a way of the Universe of re-balancing itself or simply the way things work on planet Hearth. I’ve witnessed countless examples where both good and bad actions have found strange ways of ricocheting until they went back to where they had originated, closing an imaginary circle.

Now that we have an empty nest, cooking in big quantities doesn’t make any sense for just my husband and I, but I still love the satisfaction that comes from looking at a table covered with food that I have prepared or at a big batch of orange marmalade, wondering what I would do with all that preserve, way too sugary for us to eat often.
The solution is easy: I give my food away. I choose special occasions to plan dinner parties so that I can cook for an army of friends, without worrying of eating too much because my guests gladly do that. Continue reading