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Showing posts from July, 2017

Wild Harvest: Fritelle di Cardone (cardoon fritters)

This post has been long overdue, attributed to the fact that this wild green is not easily accessible unless you happen to have some growing nearby along a railway line, on the outskirts of Melbourne’s country roadside or on your farm.  There have been a few sightings and opportunities to gather, however I’ve been very reluctant fearing that this wild green considered by the council as a weed may be sprayed.  What am I referring to you may ask?  Well, many Italians would know this wild plant as cardoni or cardi. This thistle like plant is known by its botanical name as cynara cardunculus or more commonly known as cardoons.  It is related to the globe artichoke and very similar in appearance with the addition of spikes on the end of its leaves. It has a more delicate flavour, a bit like a Jerusalem artichoke.  The Romans used to eat the stalks in salads, and even today many Italians cultivate the stalks of this wild plant and enjoy its slight bitter taste knowing its medicinal value of…

Cucina Conversations: Calamari Ripieni al Sugo (Stuffed Squid)

Long summer days on end holidaying at the beach is not something I can say we grew up doing except on occasional weekends, however my husband and his extended family did.  Every Christmas and Easter holidays were spent at the seaside at Cowes, Phillip Islandsince a very young age.  San Remo is the last southern coast mainland town before the bridge takes holiday makers to the island. The islands towns, Newhaven and Ryll hold much fishing history and are also lovely to visit during the colder months. So knowing that July’s Cucina Conversations topic was going to be seafood, I timed our short getaway last month to East Gippsland with a day trip to Phillip Island to the fishing village of Newhaven. I looked forward to buying some fresh calamari and cooking this dish (which I hadn't made for years) in the quaint fully equipped kitchen at Marges Cottage.

On our early morning drive up, I heard many stories of my father in law spending hours out near the pier using a bucket he had cut the…