Archive | recipes

RSS feed for this section

Ramp Risotto ~ Alpine to Appalachian

Spring is here. But it isn’t spring in my Alpine wonderland of Valle d’Aosta, Italy.  Instead I’m watching the world come to life in the mountains where I was born, in Asheville, North Carolina. A little more than a year ago, I moved back to the US. Gianluca followed about six months later.  It was […]

Read full story Comments { 1 }

Wear your polenta and eat it too: polenta hat crackers

No, I haven’t lost my mind. Or perhaps I have.   Maybe I have found my true calling as a polenta hat top model. I surely know how to rock a polenta hat, even if I am otherwise sorely lacking in the style department. Yesterday we were making polenta with Nonna Rita, my friend Cinzia’s 80 […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }

Roasted beet, orange and kale salad with lifeguard olive oil

   I always thought I hated beets, until I got a craving for them last winter.  In Valle d’Aosta, Italy, you cannot buy fresh beets. They just don’t exist here. You can get a vacuum packed steamed beet from the grocery store, but that just doesn’t appeal to me.   So I planted a few kinds […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Red currant, lime and chambord gelato

I have been posting far less often than I intended… it turns out I’ve been so busy doing fun things, and haven’t had any time to write about it!  I’ve been interviewing elder Alpine folk about their food traditions, selling my soaps at markets, gardening, foraging for mushrooms and wild berries, and I taught old […]

Read full story Comments { 5 }

Fresh porcini mushroom risotto

Last week, my husband went for a hike up one of the nearby snow capped mountains, and stumbled across some beautiful porcini mushrooms.  Because we seemed to have skipped straight from winter to fall, porcini mushrooms are just starting to pop up, and they are a very special find!  Not being mushroom experts ourselves, we […]

Read full story Comments { 5 }

Crispy fried mozzarella balls (gluten free)

This year I discovered that fried food is tasty. Yes, apparently I hadn’t heard the news. I never really liked fried foods before and wasn’t much interested in them.  But then my husband had me taste  fried mozzarella balls and I saw the light!  We used to get them from the frozen food section of […]

Read full story Comments { 1 }

Yes, your polenta should be be that thick!

Whenever I make polenta with Americans I often hear the same question…. “Isn’t it done yet? It looks too thick!” People usually say this when the polenta still needs to cook another 45 minutes or so.  And here’s the answer: “It ain’t done… it shouldn’t be that thick, it should be thicker!” Polenta isn’t grits. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Black Polenta Squares with Gorgonzola and Caramelized Onions

This week we held our rustic fire roasted polenta gathering class here in Asheville, North Carolina at the Log Cabin Cooking School, and it was a blast and a hoot all rolled together. We fired up the camp fire and hauled a relatively lightweight little wood cookstove from the 1800′s out there, too.  We ate  […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Strawberry, Mint & Black Pepper Jam

Last year I made too much  jam. How much is too much jam, you ask?  Well, I have 6 fruit trees that had a very good year (3 plum, 1 cherry, 2 pear), I liberated some seemingly abandoned trees of their fruit, and I bought that which I could not grow or find.  We were […]

Read full story Comments { 5 }

Have some sausage: polenta con salsiccia

Where I live in Valle d’Aosta, Italy, polenta con salsiccia is the ‘go-to’ way of preparing polenta.  It is basically Italian sausage cooked in a tomato sauce and eaten with polenta.  This dish is good, I mean really good.  Good enough that I’ve been sneaking occasional bites of it, and I’ve been a strict vegetarian […]

Read full story Comments { 1 }