Friday, June 5, 2009
Even though unseasonably cool temperatures and chilly nights are here, our garden at Cooking Vacations is growing rapidly. We had our first squash of the season, from each plant whose leaves are 12 inches long, we picked 6 long green spin-stripped squash. -And not to mention the plump gorgeous squash flowers who raise their head each day to the sun.
Today we picked some of the ready ones, petals of gold stuffed with sweet white Ricotta. I whipped the Ricotta with a few sprigs of basil from the garden, and a dusting of Parmigiano Reggiano and a dash of sea salt. After dipping the stuffed flowers in a simple, flour, pinch of salt and a splash of bubbly water mixed well, they were ready to fry (or pan sear for those watching their figure).
A simple garlic & oil pasta, spiked with fresh red hot chili pepper and lots of parsley, a Caprese salad (fresh Mozzarella cut and separated with fresh basil from our garden, fire-engine red tomatoes from Sicily drizzled with our own Virgin first-cold-pressed olive oil -started our lunch. The pan was still sizzling with baby artichoke hearts, cleaned & peeled and soaked in fresh Positano lemons. From the tree to the hot pan, and in no time we were tasting the dark green soft sweet leaves between our lips. Organic cherries, black and plum red were served for dessert. We kept their stems and left them in the sun to dry. The dried stems are the base for a special tea.
Spring is my favorite season, nature slowly rebirths in all its wonders, especially on the Amalfi Coast.