Prune bites

Prunes and prosciutto or bacon is a well known and appreciated combination. In this recipe it is made even more interesting and delicious by the presence of the orange zest and black tea (recipe taken from my precious collection of Sale&Pepe). I served them as an appetizer for the Easter lunch with my husband’s parents and a couple of friends and they were very appreciated. The arugula simply dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil is an ideal start for a rich meal.

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A good harvest from a small space

What a satisfaction to grow your own vegetables. Not only you are sure of how you grow it, it is also such a zen activity, take care of your space, of the little things that grow. Have the patience to do the right thing in the right moment…  Yes but what if we only have a small space? How many plants do we need in order to have a decent harvest? My backyard is a weird long triangle with the longest side of ca. 26′, as you see from my sketch below. It was necessary for me to do a little planning on how to have a “good harvest” and a nice looking backyard at the same time, without sacrificing all the space to vegetables. Let’s start from the beginning. I organized my thoughts in three main questions that I asked myself and I hope these suggestions will be of help to those of you that are planning to have their own veggie harvests this summer.

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Pastiera d’Aprile

The Pastiera Napoletana is the “great lady” of the Italian Easter tradition. Mostly in the South. I know that Easter has passed… but this tart, freshly flavored with citrus, is in perfect harmony with the spirit of this beautiful spring. The preparation is not difficult, but definitely it requires some time and planning. The original recipe, like many of a very ancient tradition, is lost as is the memory of who and when invented this cake. But, like all great traditions, it has left a huge legacy of family recipes that are exchanged, transmitted, jealously kept, and criticized. So, here I am with my first pastiera ever, perpetuating my grandmother’s interpretation of this special Easter cake.

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I have been a little busy…

…with these two little things. What to say… we so much wanted a cat. Requisites: ONE, very young (8-10 weeks kinda thing), to be adopted. The only requisite we met is the last one.

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A work day at home with a quick green break

To make the better use of fresh spinach, it is a good habit to separate the smaller more tender internal leaves to be eaten raw in salads, and cook the external thicker ones. So I did. Rich, healthy, and quick. Enrich your spinach leaves with raisins, walnuts, pine seeds, blue or gorgonzola cheese if you like, and dress with a simple vinaigrette of 1 tsp extravirgin olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp honey, one pinch of salt.

A green soup for a grey day

Grey and rainy here in the North Bay, but weather report says long lasting sun in the weekend and the next future. A fresh bunch of spinach and I took my chance for a may be my last hot soup of the season.

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Easy and cool with cod and quinoa

It looks nice doesn’t it? (… it was evening, hungry, no time for white balance, the photo is horrible…). But in less than half a hour I put together this seriously nutritious dish in a beautiful presentation. The preparation in few steps:

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