Relish di Pere con Cipolle Egiziane

This fruit based relish is further enhanced by the tiny Egyptian onions which are only Egyptian in name since they originate and are grown in Liguria, Italy. This rare and centuries old vegetable has been reintroduced in Liguria recently thanks to its ease of cultivation and exceptionally rich nutrient value. This delicious appetiser is a perfect accompaniment for grilled swordfish, chicken or turkey. The three basic ingredients make this a quick and easy recipe – especially handy during these hot summer months where you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking over a hot stove. (Questo relish a base di frutta e’ migliorato da queste piccole cipolle egiziane che sono egiziane solo nel nome, in verita’ sono coltivate e originarie della Liguria. Questo raro e antico ortaggio e stato reintrodotto recentemente in Liguria grazie alla sua facilita’ nella coltivazione e ricchezza di valori nutrizionali. Questo delizioso antipasto e’ un’abbinamento perfetto con pesce spada grigliato, pollo o tacchino. E’ una ricetta adatta specialmente durante questi caldi mesi estivi quando nessuno vuol spendere tanto tempo in cucina). Continue reading

Summer Chickpea Soup

I have to admit this Summer Chickpea Soup has a lot of ingredients and involves a bit of chopping and adding but the procedure is extremely simple and in the end it’s well worth it! It’s so refreshing with the pears in it and it can be a complete light meal in the summer months. Also if you don’t know what to do with the chickpeas after using the aqua faba, this soup is perfect and guaranteed to become a favorite. Continue reading

Crispy Fried Borage Leaves

Borage is a forager’s delight, especially easy to find during spring season when its velvety leaves and bright blue star shaped flowers abound. This plant can also be cultivated in a sunny spot in your garden. The whole plant is edible including the flowers. It’s also full of valuable vitamins and minerals. I especially enjoy the leaves dipped in batter and quickly fried in olive oil until golden and crisp. A quick and healthy treat! Continue reading

Salsola Soda Quiche

This Salsola soda quiche contains an interesting grasslike vegetable more commonly known as “agretti” in Italy. It has a very pleasant tangy flavor and makes an unusual quiche. This vegetable has a very short season – you can usually find it only from April to May. So it’s a good idea to take advantage of this period to utilise its super detox properties. In fact it contains considerable amounts of vitamins A, C and especially the B group – not to mention also lots of minerals. Continue reading

Asparagus Joy

This layered asparagus dish I called “Asparagus Joy” was inspired again by one of Pietro Leemann’s vegetarian dishes. The easy to make crisp bread disks are layered with tender crisp asparagus spears accented with various aromatic herbs and a fragrant zucchini mint pesto to top it all. Truly an expression of Spring in all its bounty! Continue reading

Euroflora 2018 – Cooking with Wild Herbs

This year Euroflora, one of the biggest flower shows in Europe, was held for the first time outside Genova-Nervi in the beautiful parks of this seaside town. One of the interesting exhibits featured wild herbs and how to use them in cooking. Many of these plants are commonly known as “weeds” and eradicated from our gardens without realising their medicinal virtues and usefulness in cooking. This exhibit showcased their use in various recipes, many of them from age old Italian traditions. Of course these herbs should be collected from pollution free areas and following advice from experts! Continue reading

Foraging in the Oltrepo’ Pavese Countryside

At the end of April “Joia Academy” organised an interesting course on wild herbs. You could call this “foraging” as the group, led by Pietro Leemann, trekked through the Oltrepo’ Pavese countryside near the Boscasso farm to collect and learn how to use these herbs. This was truly a “hands on ” experience as these herbs were also prepared in the farm kitchen and served to the group. A wonderful getaway from our day to day routines and immersing ourselves in nature at its best! Continue reading

Terrina di Broccoli con Salsa di Mandarino

This refreshing broccoli aspic is the fruit of an interesting vegan course at the “Joia Academy” kitchens in Milan. The “Joia” restaurant is one of the most well known vegetarian restaurants in the region run by chef Pietro Leemann. Here chef Nabil Bakouss demonstrates how this “Terrine di Broccoli con Salsa di Mandarino” is prepared. Carefully following the recipe, ours came out delicious too! The idea to add an edible pansy was ours. Continue reading