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Showing posts from March, 2017

Cucina Conversations: Crocchette di Patate e Cicoria (Potato & Chicory Croquettes)

Gently blowing a wish into the air through a dandelion puff while playing in the garden was a childhood favourite pass time spent alongside my parents who were tending to their vegetable patch. Little had I known that mamma also loved this wild green known asTarassaco(Taraxacum officinale) or in more familiar terms as cicoria burda, cultivating both its jaggered leaves for cooking and its long trap root for medicinal purposes. Papa`oblivious to all of this would pull them out along with other weeds; occasionally we would notice some bitter undertones in our side of sauteed greens but were none the wiser for a very long time. This dandelion plant which I wrote about in my new section to the blog titled Wild Harvest, became a staple green on our dinner plates. Its bitterness we quickly became accustomed to over time and began to appreciate. Quietly, mamma continued to inform herself of its nutrients,  purifying and anti-inflammatory propertiesbased on what she had learnt from her mother…

Wild Harvest: Cicoria e Pane Cotto (Cooked Bread with Chicory)

Welcome to my long overdue addition toThe Heirloom Chroniclesblog titledWild Harvest. This personal blog would not be what it set out to be without reference to and inclusion of mamma's favourite part of the garden and wild greens. A keen researcher of all things herbal and remedial with most of her favourite readings based around these topics; mamma has been my inspiration for this extension of discovery and learning which ties back to 'cucina povera' (peasant cooking).  Amongst their seasonal vegetables, you are bound to find some strange lookingerbe (herbs) or wild edible greens that have been selectively planted or just happen to sprout from a neglected corner of theirorto(garden).  Ask mamma what they are and she will happily engage in conversation with you about their medicinal values and how to prepare brews to remedy this and that. The inclusion of these greens into her cooking is not unfamiliar to us growing up, so this new section will be filled with informative …

Baccala con le Patate e Olive (Salt Cod with Potatoes & Olives)

As promised, here is the second baccala` (salt cod) dish for the Lent season.  In my previous post I shared with you a family recipe called Baccala con Peperoni Cruschi, a traditional recipe from the Basilicata region of Italy predominantly eaten during Lent or as some call it the leaner days leading up to Easter.  This additional salt cod recipe I share with you is a classic for this period of time as well and a family favourite due to the added potatoes and tomato sauce rendering the fish moist.   When mamma makes this dish she doesn't normally add the black sun dried olives, but I decided to include them not only to intensify the flavours of the baccala`, but also a great way to finish the meal with bread and olives.
Baccala con le Patate e Olive (Salt Cod with Potatoes & Olives) Serves 4
700 g of salt cod already soaked in water for 3 days to remove the excess salt
150 g of cherry tomatoes
1 small brown onion
1 celery stalk
350 g (3 medium) desiree` or red skin potato…