It's November and we have now stepped in full swing with Tuscan kale at farmers' markets and on the Tuscan table. One of my favorite recipes, and so simple to prepare, is the "crostone di cavolo nero", or, Tuscan kale toast (sounds more appetizing in Italian though!). This is a perfect appetizer and in Italy, can often take the place of the first course pasta dish. This Italian heirloom vegetable is extraordinarily nutritious: it is an excellent anti-cancer food, is among the most antioxidant-rich foods on Earth and provides plenty of carotenoids. The leaves are tall and narrow and it has a sweet and delicate taste with an earthy, deep almost nutty flavor. >>
10 of our favorite shots today that captures the essence of Tuscany in this particular moment in time...
Every week we pick 10 of the best shots on Instagram that represent Tuscany and Italy in its true spirit. Here are this weeks favorites, from that special Tuscan sunlight, to pecorino cheese and truffle...from Pisa to Florence to the hills of Chianti. >>
Despite the chilly weather and the fact that I am a total summer enthusiast and beach freak, fall is one of my favorite times of year in Tuscany because it's harvest season - and that means....lots of my number one passion: FOOD! October and November in Tuscany are full of food festivals, the year's new oil and new wine to taste, lit fireplaces where chestnuts and meats are roasting away and some of my favorite pasta and risotto toppings like mushrooms and truffles are abundant on all menus.This past weekend I packed my family in the car and drove to the Olivicoltori Toscani Associati complex in Chianti to celebrate the beginning of olive harvest season together with the Tuscans themselves. >>
The idea of street food has always existed in Florence but while years ago it was seen as something quick to grab when short of time, nowadays a real cult has grown out of the "cibo di strada" movement and it is becoming more and more of a trend - foods that you choose not necessarily because you need to save time or money, but because it's just downright good! But although street food adventures have become a new trend now in the foodie age, the bites that you chow down are far from trendy. They are mainly traditional foods that have always fed and sustained the people, often workers and artisans during their moment of rest midday. Here is a list of the best munches to experience "in piedi" (standing) when in Florence. >>
After almost a lifetime living in this culinary capital, here is the list of my top 5 restaurants in Florence where a superbly sublime evening is guaranteed. I do love innovative ambience that is a mix of stylish and classic and for me, the feel of a place - its decor, lighting and music - is just as important as the dishes that are served. It all takes part in the atmosphere that, together with the right food, can turn your evening into magic. What I love most about eating out in Italy is knowing that just about every place (excluding franchises of course, which luckily, there are few of here in Italy) give importance to locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. >>
The area around Lago di Vagli (in the province of Lucca, Tuscany) is beautiful and rich in wildlife, popular with hikers and with many footpaths around the lake. Lago di Vagli is in fact a man-made lake created a nearby dam was built in 1948. The lake's waters sunk small villages that once dotted the valley, most noted is the 13th century village called Fabbriche di Careggine, also known as "Paese Fantasma" (Ghost Village). Every ten years the lake is drained for repairs and as the waters recede the village emerges and the area is flocked by locals and tourists alike who are then able to wander around the remains of the church and village buildings. >>
My husband's family is originally from Sicily and this is the family recipe for Sicilian style pizza that has been passed down for the past 3 generations (at least!). Although I live in Tuscany and love the Tuscan thin-crusted, crisp pizzas, I must say that this soft and fragrant version della nonna, "grandma's" as it is referred to here in our house, is my absolute favorite. It's the combination of chopped garlic, freshly ground Sicilian oregano that my in-laws bring to us from the south, and anchovy fillets that makes this so irresistible. This pizza is best when it is prepared about 30 minutes beforehand and then stacked and covered with a dishrag so that it is eaten when it is still warm and soft, but not piping hot. >>