Concord grape & cocoa crumble

Concord grapes are one of my favourite fruits (certainly my favourite kind of grape). They are only available for a short period , in September, and they have an especially intense and sweet flavour. In Italy, we call it “uva fragola“, which literally means “strawberry grape“, highly appropriate to their in-between kind of flavour. In Tuscany,…

IPA-flavoured crackers

It’s Friday everyone! We all have been waiting for this moment for the past four days, so better make it worth the wait. Time to put together some boozy snacks, to leisurely drag your early happy hours into dinner. How about some beer-flavoured sesame saltines? I recently came across this recipe, on the latest fall…

Skillet smokey lasagna

As the daylight assumes to the beautifully warm and cozy nuances that are typical of September, and we slowly walk into fall season, it is time for some comfort food weekend planning. One of my comfort foods par excellence is mum’s lasagna (so stereotypically Italian, I know. Can’t help it in this particular case). She used to cook it…

Italian cornmeal cookies with saffron and cardamom

In my family, we have a long-lived cookie-baking tradition. My mum and I used to bake tons of Christmas cookies for our friends, an operation that would normally take us a full weekend of full-time kneading and baking madness. Since then, experimenting on different kind of cookies is one of my favourite baking activities. This particular cookie…

Cod with tamari baby Bok Choy

My dad loves to go fishing, so I have been eating a lot of locally (very locally!) sourced fish since I was a kid. It was mostly river trouts and perches when we were at home in the Alps, and snappers when we were on holiday at the sea. Fish is a quintessential part of…

Figs, almond and ricotta cake

Let’s face it: school has started, days are shorter, and fall is coming. Besides school, the other thing that in my mind is indissolubly linked to fall is figs. I always thought figs are the way summer softly waves goodbye at us: they are sweet, of a sweetness nurtured by those summer sunny laziness that we recall nostalgically while eating…

Chanterelle & Speck Risotto

Back in the Alps in northern Italy, where I come from, fall season means mushroom season. Whenever I am back home, I go on hours-long walks with my dad, hunting for these little jewel in the forest. Well, I went shopping the other day and I was lucky enough to catch a bunch of fresh chanterelles at…

Hokkaido Milk Bread

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been in love with milk bread. It has a golden crust and soft fluffy texture, which melts in your mouth leaving a hint of a sweet after-taste. It’s a perfect bread to toast for breakfast, but it actually works well for sandwiches too (assuming you can resist the urge…

Peach, honey & rosemary galette

There we are: it’s the first week of September, and to my disappointment, summer is slowly fading away. But it’s not gone just yet, so there is still time for a good-bye-summer fruit galette! A galette is a rustic open faced tart, with hand-folded edges that enclose a juicy filling. My favourites are fruit galettes,…

Fried stuffed squash blossoms

Back in my hometown in Northern Italy, my dad keeps a small but fruitful vegetable garden. Among the marvels that come out of it, there is plenty of zucchini squash and – what’s best – zucchini squash blossoms! The Italian culinary tradition features many recipes with zucchini squash flowers. One of my favourites is a typically Roman recipe,…

Watermelon Pudding

It may be the end of August, but we are still in the 90F range here in Washington, which means summer is still on! To me, no food speaks more loudly of summer than watermelon. The sole thought of it brings to mind images of sunny beaches or shadowy fragrant orchards, of days spent in idleness where…