A lovely combination of potatoes, cabbage and the Alpine cow’s cheese, Taleggio. Simple to prepare, and delicious eaten as a side dish with meat, or even on its own. Although cabbage is grown all over Italy it has always been a staple of the northern regions, providing nourishment in times of hardship. Despite its somewhat underrated reputation, people have alwalys loved cabbage and it has really evolved in Italian cooking over the years. There are different types: verza (Savoy), cappuccio (white), rosso (red) and cavoto nero (black). Savoy cabbage is probably the most used in Italian cooking: in soups, braised with pancetta, or stuffed. Waite cabbage is used to fill ravioli, in salads and can. be braised. Red cabbage is really only known in the north-east of Italy and cooked in local dishes with a Germanic influence. The ‘trend’ cavoio nero, grown mainly in Tuscany, is similar in taste to Savoy and can be used in much the same way.
Spanish pork and vegetable stew is a perfect dish for the autumn weather that coming. Perfect on the cold night with a big glass of Rioja, this rustic and comforting stew is a variation on the style popular in central Spain. Using delicious products local to the area, it is packed full of flavour: smoky chorizo, sweet peppers and rich tomatoes. What is the best, it is perfect dish for evenings with guests or big families. A good, hearty dish for everyone. In this recipe is used jamón, the Spanish ham. In English it refers to certain types of dry-cured ham from Spain. There are two primary types of jamón: jamón serrano (meaning ham from the sierra or mountains) and jamón ibérico (ham from the Black Iberian pig). Any type of ham can be used instead of jamón, so do not worry about it.
Roman gnocchi can be prepared a day or two in advance, wrapped and stored in the refigerator in the slab form or as circles. Roman gnocchi are made with semolina and are quite different from the more well-known potato gnocchi served with pasta sauce. Gnocchi are eaten as a first course (primo piatto), as an alternative to soups (minestre) or pasta. They are generally home-made in Italian and diaspora Italian households. They may also be bought fresh from speciality stores. In supermarkets, industrially produced packaged gnocchi are widely available refrigerated, dried, or frozen. Common accompaniments of gnocchi include melted butter with sage, pesto, and various sauces.
This is a classic rhubarb crumble recipe bit with a little twixt by adding stem ginger and porridge oats to make the best crumble mix ever. It is an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and can be really nicely served with thick Jersey cream or cold custard. There are two different types of rhubarb available: forced and naturally grown. The forced rhubarb is brighter pink in colour, has delicious spindly shoots and is much more tender. Rhubarb dating back to 2000 BC in China, where it was used only for medicinal purposes. It is funny fact, because it is not actually very nutricious – it is mainly made up of water. Wash and trim the rhubarb stems before use. Discard the leaves as they are poisonous. If using outdoor-grown rhubarb, remove any stringy outer layers. Cut into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Forced rhubarb is very fragile so poach or bake only briefly to prevent it from disintegrating into a mush. Use a thick sugar syrup as it releases a lot of juice. Outdoor-grown rhubarb has a sharper taste and more fibrous texture, so requires a slightly longer cooking. Both varieties of rhubarb are good in pies, tarts, fools, jellies and ices.
Deep-fried zucchini flowers are Italian speciality and it becoming recently much wider popular. The flowers have a subtle flavour, reminiscent of young zucchinis, and can be eaten even raw. The flowers can be battered and fried or they are also frequently stuffed (very often with soft cheeses such as ricotta) and cooked. Everyone who grow zuccini (courgettes) at home can make use of the yellow flowers that appear in steady supply throughout the summer. If flowers aren’t available, you can use the same batter and method to deep-fry slices of zucchini and aubergine. These days you can find zuccini flowers at farmers’ markets, though they are not nearly as prevalent as the taut green and yellow fruit. If you see them next time you are buying the vegetables, don’t miss the chance to try this recipe.