Spring in a bowl

I think it would be very easy for me to sit here and list all my favourite foods I have enjoyed this year and no doubt bore you to tears. No one wants that. However, one of the best foodie tastes I have had this year (and I am putting it right up there with truffles) is the creamy, delicious, succlent, mouth-watering delight called burrata. I was first introduced to it on a pizza at PizzaMan (awesome pizza in Florence). The pizza was thin with a smearing of tomato sauce and mozzarella melted into the crust, then topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, dollops of burrata and lashings of olive oil: HEAVEN!

Whenever I see it on a menu I order it without a doubt and think there is nothing greater. So when all the delicious spring veggies started popping up in the markets and begging me to buy them, I knew there was a salad I just had to make: spring vegetables seasoned with truffle salt and burrata.

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Fava beans, fresh peas and rocket leaves finished with parsley, truffle salt, burrata and olive oil

I could eat fava beans and fresh peas all Spring long and still want more; however, when they are paired with the creamy goodness of burrata and the peppery leaves of rocket, the taste just ignites your senses and you can’t say no! The only way you could make this even better would be to serve it with grilled asparagus…

Grilled asparagus with shaved parmesan

Grilled asparagus with shaved parmesan

And with that said, this would have to be my most favourite meal this Spring…

 

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Pastry heaven

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I’m actually wondering if I really need to write anything at all after the above photo? Is anyone reading or are you all like me and drooling over which one you’d like right now!?

I mean why would you bother making them when you can just pick them up from the local pasticceria? This is funny coming from me who has a business back in Sydney making High Teas for people. I would never in a million years make petite bites here in Italy……there is just no comparison and I’d be first in line to pick up my own bundle of joy!

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The boys and I were around at Melanie’s last weekend, Melanie and I had been discussing food to be paired with a lovely bottle of wine she was sent from a wine company in Canada. We decided to put our creative minds together and see what we could come up with. After finalising our decisions we decided to make Sunday lunch and see if the families agreed with our food/wine pairing.

When we first tasted the wine all we thought of was chocolate. Somehow we came up with this…

IMG_0650Gorgonzola dolce whipped with truffle honey and served with a poached pear, cracked pepper and cinnamon compote. It sounds a little bizarre but the flavours complimented each other beautifully not to mention the wine. Mel and I kept on wishing we were sitting by a fire eating and drinking!

Of course we had to come up with a main dish so after a lot of ummming and arring we finally settled on this….

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A very Tuscan bollito di manzo served with creamy polenta finished with pecorino cheese giving it a creamy bite.

Although many Italians would not serve the two together (Mel’s Italian husband pointed this out to me), they compliment each other very well. Once the wine opened up it complemented the dish, pulling all the flavours together leaving you hoping there were leftovers of everything!

This is when ‘working’ is the best job ever and I am always more than happy to work for wine so if there are any other wine purveyors out there who want recipes to match wines please don’t hesitate to contact me……

Anyway, after all the hard work was finished and bellies were full Melanie whips out a package of pastries to tantalize our taste buds, and if you think they look fresh and yummy you’d be 100% correct. All five boys were memorised

IMG_0670You’ve got to love the look of longing and wondering if you’ve chosen well all the while holding a plate full of delights!

My all time favourite was the one filled with crema and flavoured with orange rind……

IMG_0672After such an indulgent lunch we packed the boys into the car and took them mushroom hunting to walk off some of the delights, however, as I sit here and drool all over again I can no longer wonder why my jeans feel as tight as they do!