You must try the Sicilian Caponata, every guide book told me. It is the flavor of Sicily, they said. I did. I tried many varieties of the quintessential eggplant dish, and all were delicious. Generally, the dish involves eggplant, although my research has shown that it is the sweet and sour dressing of vegetables, not the eggplant that make a dish a caponata. But let’s be honest, most of the time it is an Eggplant Caponata!
Gonzo and I argued about this dish a bit when I first introduced it during the Venetian dinner. Sweet and vinegary, “they won’t go for it”, he said. I was almost convinced to take out the raisins, but I am glad I kept them. Sardines are amazing! I don’t know why everyone here is so afraid of sardines and anchovies. Dusted with flour and fried, they turn decadent, especially when paired with the vinegar flavor of the marinated onions and the sweetness of the raisins. Make this dish several days in advance, it gets better with time. And don’t be afraid if you have too much liquid, the sardines soak up a lot.
Eggplant is so tempting this time of year! My obsession lives on. My favorite way to prepare eggplant is by burning it directly on the stove top. Roasting the eggplant in this way gives the flesh a delicious smoky flavor which pairs magnificently with a bit of lemon juice.
This is a really simple and delicious soup on its own, but I love how elevated it becomes with the pairing of seared wild tomatoes. I find these little beauties at the Waverly Farmer’s market here in Baltimore, however, if they are not readily available, some heirloom cherry tomatoes will do the trick!
Eggplant is so tempting this time of year! I think I will try to grow some next summer! In the mean time, however, I keep buying it every weekend, so we have to keep cooking it. This week, I also wanted to make a bit of mozzarella and some pesto since my basil plant is getting pretty hefty.
Want to make your own pesto? I like a combination of arugula and basil for mine. I take about 4 cups of basil leaves and arugula leaves each, a half a cup of pine nuts, a cup of grated Parmesan, 4-6 garlic cloves, and enough olive oil to get to the consistency you like. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and adjust to your tastes.
The farmer’s market is full of bounty, so I overbought again this week! I found myself with a bushel of asparagus, a pound of sugar snap peas, a couple ears of corn, and an overabundance of oyster squash! What to do? I thought of making a succotash, but honestly, I was not in the mood…
The caprese salad is a legend, I can rarely resist one on any menu, especially when it comes with mozzarella di buffalo or a heavenly burrata, but sometimes you want to branch out with your flavors! When I was in London in April, I HAD to go to NOPI, Yotam Ottolenghi’s beautiful restaurant. All of…
Every Italian meal deserves a salad, right? This weekend, I made a Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage, and Chili Shrimp to celebrate my mom’s birthday, Mother’s Day, and another successful opera she put together with her company Belcantanti Opera. I was standing in pantry deciding on flavors and my stack of anchovy tins caught my eye….
I love to visit my parents and cook them a great meal! And what better excuse than Mother’s Day? How about your mom’s birthday? My mom’s happens to always fall on or around Mother’s Day. I always ask her what she wants me to cook for her, she always tells me to surprise her. This…