Recipes


In the harvest season around here it can easily take twice as long to get anywhere on Chianti’s already curvy, slow and intoxicating roads.  In September and October tractors pull grapes to local wineries and in November they haul olives to frantoi, the mills that, for a brief period each year work around the clock pressing…

We’re busy at Petraia as high summer starts easing into fall.  I’m sorry I don’t have much time these days to post but here is a quick overview of what we are up to in the kitchen and in the vegetable garden. 1.  Tomatoes are starting to come in strong.  I haven’t yet had time…

In order to preserve most food it is important to control the main elements promoting bacterial growth: water and air.  The traditional Italian method of preserving vegetables sott’olio (under oil) is ingenious really.  First the vegetables are thinly sliced and salted.  The salt draws out their water. The next day the vegetables are rinsed and then either…

What I feared might happen when I started this blog has, indeed, happened.  Our season has begun and I have not been able to find the time to write.  It’s a pity really, as there is so much to write about.  But spring is over a month late this year and there is an enourmous…

  It’s time again, the elderflowers are coming into bloom and we are making cordial.   This is a tradition that began with me many years ago when my neighbor Jeremy arrived one day with a bag of elderflowers in one hand and his recipe for cordial in the other.  I tried it out, got…

   A Gratin of Cheese and Potatoes from the Aravis Massif Once again, we are in the French Alps.  The Aravis massif is an impressive chain of mountains situated between Annecy and the elegant ski resort of Megeve. Forming part of the eastern border of the departemant of Haute Savoie this is part of the area…

  AKA Thermomix.   Along with my pressure cooker this is one of the most valued appliances in my kitchen.   The thermomix is a machine that emulsifies and cooks at the same time.    It’s a common fixture in European home and restaurant kitchens.  Made by the international, German headquartered company Vorwerk, their website credits the…

  Sadly, it’s over.  Here is the last of this year’s citrus I ordered from an organic farm in Sicily a few days ago.  The fruit was picked and shipped that same day.   It won’t be until late next fall when the days get shorter and Christmas approaches that we will see this wonderful fruit…

  Crystal clear and nutritient dense stock and broths in 45 minutes.   White beans like zolfini and cannellini; black eyed peas and chick peas cooked to perfection in 20 to 30 minutes with no overnight soaking.  Ragu, stews and braises in an hour.    My pressure cooker is the most used appliance in my kitchen and…

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