Spring on toast & toast for spring

Spring on toast & toast for spring. Grab the season of rebirth and cherry blossoms into your hand and savor these springful toast slices accompanying your senses into the new cycle of life with colors, delicate taste, seasonal food, elegance and a completely natural sparkling wine from LaStaffa, a classical method biodynamic verdicchio wine with a small percentage of trebbiano grapes, a true rarety, cultivated in the rolling hills of Staffolo nestled in the hills in the north of the Marche region, in the Esino valley. In fact its name is “Mai sentito” (Never before heard of). It is a perfect match here and its so appropriate to make a toast to spring, summer coming up and Mother Earth, with this fresh, crisp, fruity and extremely convivial natural spumante, expressing in such a beautiful way the distinct characteristics of the area.

 

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Egg fried bread with strawberries & ricotta

When I make those butter fried slices of bread for late Sunday breakfast or whenever I need extra sunshine into my morning, the lines from Richard Rodger’s score of “Oklahoma” automatically come to mind: “Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day”, and I feel like Gordon MacRae admiring the golden meadows on a super sunny day. That is what food can do to us. In addition to nurturing us, it takes our spirit on the most incredible “voyages”. Use the fruit you have in season for topping.

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To Rome & Audrey with Love + slow travel tips

There are few things more romantic that I can think of than Rome in spring, or should I say breathlessly charming? Observing Flora’s season exploding with its million colors and perfumes into the timelessness of the city is somewhat unique.
When I think of Rome, and when I go there, my spirit automatically travels back at least to the mid fifties and sixties when Audrey Hepburn had already left her inimitable footprints in the eternal city, first with Vacanze Romane (1955),
and later living there for many years. Celebrating International Women’s Day by getting into her beloved ballerina shoes and tap through her most dear Trastevere neighborhood in the company of the border collie Berta and photographer Danilo Mecozzi.

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Barley ricotta bread with smoked trout


Icelandic-Italian fusion. Tastes that remind of late summer and autumn. Birch smoked Icelandic trout, barley bread with freshly milled organic barley from Móðir Jörð, Vallanes, Iceland, pomegranate seeds from the amazing autumn fruit, pomegranate, freshly picked in Puglia, sheep ricotta cheese from Staffolo, Marche, a dash of orange Sicilian orange blossom honey and a couple of free range eggs. These fabulous ingredients come together in this “smörrebröd” open sandwich suggestion. The scrambled eggs match heavenly with the trout and the pomegranate gives a great acidity contrast to its slight fattiness. Autumn really tastes good, and this toast is in theme with its beautiful colors as well.

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Zesty ciambella with extra virgin olive oil inside & out

Ciambella is such a beautiful word and comforting in a way. The second part of the word “bella” means “beautiful” in Italian, so there’s one reason for the word’s expression for something good. Pronouncing “Ciam“, adds gladness and saliva to your palate in advance. It reminds of the sound of “yum“, meaning something that tastes or looks delicious. This bundt cake, ciambella, or better ciambellone, because of the size of it, is very light (despite the size of it), and extremely fragrant and zesty. An important factor for its lightness is given to the presence of extra virgin olive oil and zest in the dough. Then we exalt the zestiness, almonds as well as the mild olive oil in the dough with a second oil, a fruity Sicilian one.

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I Love Paris

I love Paris in the Springtime
I love Paris in the Fall
I love Paris in the Winter when it drizzles
I love Paris in the Summer when it sizzles

And so goes the first part of the lyrics of Cole Porter’s love song for Paris, I Love Paris of which he wrote the music as well as the lyrics. Who doesn’t fall in love with Paris? I couldn’t agree more with Cole Porter, as well as Audrey Hepburn’s classic line from Billy Wilder’s film “Sabrina” (1954), when she says: “Paris is always a good idea”.

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Simply fried egg in mild extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil will enhance the taste of almost any dish, and make your ordinary, simplest meals  surprisingly fragrant, plus you will get all the health benefits from this precious golden liquid.
Staying in simple theme, fried eggs are a beloved breakfast of mine…… and I’m sure there are a lot of you sharing the fried-egg passion.
Extra virgin olive oil is especially suitable for that cooking operation, because it heats up very fast, cooking the egg white rapidly and leaving the precious yolk thickened but yet soft. Important of course choosing an appropriate olive oil type.

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Poetry on the plate

Poetry is to be found everywhere, you only have to be curious, open minded and look. I see a lot of poetry in food, both when I prepare it, as when enjoying it prepared by others. What brings a very special poetry and joy to the senses, is when your dish is including local food and you can savor it in its natural surroundings.
I always look for these moments, and especially when traveling I already start from breakfast, and take my coffee or tea in a special place at the location that reflects its spirit, and with local specialities when possible.
Here are a some food poems from the beautiful Camogli, on the Ligurian Levante Riviera.

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