Zucchine, or courgettes, with mint is one of my favourite combinations and you find it a lot in Puglian dishes, like my favourite zucchine alla poverella. They say that the use of mint is due to the influence of Saracen … Continue reading
Yesterday was San Giuseppe, father’s day in Italy, and in Puglia, along with most of Southern Italy, it is time to eat Zeppole. Continue reading
When autumn approaches, ‘one off’ stalls, selling mushrooms that people have collected, join the regular stalls in the market. Pride of place goes to the Cardoncello mushroom, which grows in the ‘Murgia’ area – the stony elevated plateau that occupies more or less the centre of Puglia. Continue reading
Zucchine allla poverella, has to be one of my favourite dishes from Puglia; golden discs of zucchini, with the taste of good olive oil, garlic, the summery freshness of the mint and the slight tang of vinegar. When I first came to Puglia and was staying at a Masseria I was fascinated to say tray after tray of zucchini slices laying out to dry in the sun, and delighted to taste the results later that evening. Continue reading
The weather has been glorious here for the last couple of weeks and it is now warm enough to lie on the beach in a bikini though the water is still very cold. There have been a spate of last minute holiday requests from people desperate to get away from the lousy weather elsewhere but , although some have made it, the flights to Puglia often get more expensive at the last minute, rather than cheaper so, in an ideal world, you want to be booking at least three weeks ahead. Continue reading
Not quite a bun or a cake but softer than a biscuit, the Scarcella is the traditional Easter treat,lovingly prepared and usully given to children, long before the advent of chocolate easter eggs. The original version was almost certainly round, … Continue reading
One of the great things about food shopping in Puglia is that you never know what you will come home with; it is fun wandering round the bakery, fish shop, butchers and market and buying whatever looks best that day and there are always bargains to be had.. Continue reading
I always love going to the market in Monopoli, where I live. On one level I feel at home, the stall holders know me and call out hello and the staff in Caffe Roma on the corner of the market square (the best ice cream in Puglia) know that I want a double coffee, still water and a cornetto (pastry not ice cream!) with apricot jam. In another way it makes me feel like I am permanently on holiday, the calls of the vendors still seem quaint, the colour and freshness of the vegetables exceptional, the setting beautiful in a way that says ‘you are in Italy’.
Pettole are crisp, light balls of yeast dough and can be either sweet or savoury. The sweet version is dusted with icing sugar, or drizzled with honey or ‘vincotto’ before serving, the savoury version traditionally has a filling of salt cod or cauliflower, but there are other, tastier, variations such as sliced olive, sundried tomatoes and anchovies.
Today I walked to the market in brilliant sunshine and came back with bags of fruit and vegetables, chosen in the moment because they looked good.. Particularly tempting were the vividly green cime di rape, or turnip tops – tell a Pugliese that in England we eat the turnips themselves, as I did when I first arrived, and it confirms their belief that all ‘stranieri’ are just that, strange. In fact although related to turnips, cime di rapa, also known as broccoli rabe, are something different. Either way, today I am making orecchiette, the typical pasta pugliese, shaped apparently like ‘little ears’ with cime di rape.. Continue reading