Thursday, 19 May 2016

Spicy creamy carrot soup with carasau bread

Spicy creamy carrot soup with carasau bread

If you follow my Instagram account @francesca_verrucci you'd probably noticed that I make soups, mainly of the creamy variety, very often.
But I have almost no soup recipe published on the blog so far (with the exception of this pappa al pomodoro). And the reason is that in most cases my soups are the result of improvised recipes, created on the basis of the vegetables I have on hand at the moment - usually seasonal - and, let's say, the mood of the day (simple vs complex, rich vs light, spicy vs mild, smooth vs crunchy).

The result of this modus operandi?
On average a good dinner, with several cases of unexpectedly delicious dishes.
Some iPhone pictures taken just before eating the soup, that means bad artificial light (I usually make soups for dinner), zero styling, impromptu food arrangement, and not much time to take photos (just imagine to have somebody with the spoon in his hand, waiting for you to finish and sit at the table to start eating - and I don't like to eat cold food either).
Few Instagram posts - of course only when pictures are at least decent.
And ... no written recipe.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad

It's an ongoing challenge between me and cauliflower!
I've said before that cauliflower is not my favorite vegetable (details here and here).
You will say: why do you keep buying it when there are many other vegetables available?
I don't know exactly.
But the good thing is that, when I buy it, I am somehow forced to be more creative than I would be with other vegetables that are more appetizing - at least for me - by nature, like carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and others that can even be eaten as they are or just cooked in a simple way.

The result is that I've been trying many different recipes with cauliflower, some of which really nice (have a look at this link for cauliflower recipes)..
And I'm glad to share them in case you readers have with this vegetable the same controversial relation as me.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Beetroot and purslane salad with orange dressing

Beetroot and purslane salad with orange dressing

Unfortunately at this time of the year it is quite difficult to find fresh beetroots to cook from scratch.
In fact they are harvested between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn and then kept for the rest of the year (somehow like potatoes). Yesterday for example I found some fresh beets at the supermarket, but they do not have the greens on and are not as juicy as the fresh ones.
And, in any case, if you are craving beetroots when the season is over, you can always use the pre-cooked ones (sold in vacuum-sealed packages): not the same taste and versatility of the fresh ones, but still palatable.

I can't deny that I love beetroots really much; in fact at the moment it is probably one of the vegetables with more recipes on the blog  (check this link for viewing them).

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Hummus (basic recipe)

Basic Hummus

Having spent few years in the Middle East, I've had many occasions to eat hummus.
Hummus is in fact a staple in the Middle East, where it is widely and easily available: you can taste it in most restaurants and cafes (and not only those serving middle eastern cuisine) or buy it fresh from supermarkets or have it delivered by take away / home delivery joints. 
Not all of the available options are equally good though: they may vary from light, creamy and full of flavor, to decent, to heavy or too strong in taste  (too much garlic or oil or use of not high quality ingredients).  
Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to taste a hummus made by a middle eastern home-cook: I really would have liked to try a homemade "family recipe"!

But hummus is actually very popular all across the world now.
And the reason is pretty clear to me: it is absolutely delicious! Also it can be served and eaten in different ways and different occasions: it can be an appetizer served along with bread (preferably pita) or fresh vegetables like in any traditional mezze spread (the Middle Eastern set of appetizers), but it goes well on sandwiches, with roasted / steamed / boiled / sauteed vegetables, as a sauce for vegetarian (see falafel) and non vegetarian "meatballs" and more. And to be honest, I can't resist having plain spoonfuls of hummus directly from the bowl.

Friday, 18 March 2016

My recipe for Social Kitchen: lemon flavored spaghetti with clams, zucchini and bottarga

Lemon flavored spaghetti with clams, zucchini and bottarga

It seems that it took me quite a long time to settle my kitchen out of the sand!
The last time I wrote here on the blog (apparently four months ago, sigh) I was probably too optimistic about the fact that we would have found an apartment and, most important, settled in the new house in a decently reasonable time.
I changed house several times in the past, in different cities and different countries, so I know it's not an easy and quick job, but this time too many things didn't go as they should ...
The positive part is that I've learned something new and unexpected about renting an apartment and Italian bureaucracy that could be of some help in future (and of course, if any of you needs some advice, do not hesitate to contact me; it would be a pleasure to help).

Of all the things we had to get arranged in the new house, the last I got was an home Internet connection which, if you want to be a blogger, is of vital importance - at least as much as the kitchen.
It took me longer than starting the whole blog from scratch, but now I can say I am (almost) ready to get back into blogging regularly.