Summer feasting

I always love this time of year, it’s my favorite. The warm glow of summer still hanging in the air, the leaves in the trees slowly turning beautiful shades of red, yellow and gold. I can light the fire guilt free and spend some time writing about the feasts I have eaten over the last season.

This summer my family and I spent a week in Tuscany, Italy. This is very lucky for me as I have a top chef brother and a cooking mad family.  I called my brother the “simplicity enabler” as he helped orchestrate amazing, simple, Italian inspired dishes. 

We learnt how to make gnocchi; served with tomato sauce, which was my favorite dish of the entire holiday.We stuffed lambs leg with capers, anchovies and rosemary and cooked them on the BBQ. We roasted vegetable and layered them into lasagna, rolled meatballs, like momma used to make. We drove for hours to get the best pork in Italy (only to leave it in the back of the car for two days. I blame the wine!)We ate tomato, mozzarella and peach salad topped with basil leaves.We devoured fennel and grape salad for lunch; we had soft boiled eggs with homemade mayonnaise covered in the best parmesan reggiano.  We roasted Tuscan sausages with cherry tomatoes until they caramelised, We drooled over poached peaches in amaretto sauce, we smeared fresh tomatoes over thick cut toast with garlic, we ate Gorgonzola that was so strong it made your eyes water when eating it and tasted a little like biro. So much food I can hardly remember it all now. It was a fight to get into the kitchen tag teaming in and out of the kitchen, one meal finished within minutes of another being prepared.

Roasted Tuscan sausages with tomato, fennel and basil

Roasted Tuscan sausages with tomato, fennel and basil

 

Home made gnocchi with sausage and tomato

Home made gnocchi with sausage and tomato

Peach, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad

Peach, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad

Heaven.

 That was enough feasting for one season, but I’m not finished yet…

When in Florence we ate at Restaurant Dino a restaurant that is housed in the 14th century architecture of Florence beautiful city, stumbled upon a few doors from our apartment and it was incredible. Whilst there we ate wild boar stew, a recipe passed down through the years, the restaurant having been owned by three generations of the same family. We had mushroom soufflé and tiramisu. If you are ever in Florence, check it out. Amazing!

We found little courtyards serving Spaghetti alle vongole, sipping crisp white wine in the warm evening air. We ate beef steak that was cooked in a stone pizza oven as bigger than your face, we had the best gelato in Florence (or was it 9th…that is what trip advisor told us!) where the guy was as happy at serving our four flavour gelato as we were receiving it…

Man and meat. Bistecca Fiorentina

Man and meat. Bistecca Fiorentina

Bistecca Fiorentina, knife for scale

Bistecca Fiorentina, knife for scale

And of course lots and lots of pizza!

Oh take me back.