So after spending our summer holidays this year staycationing, the only place there has been sunshine has been in my kitchen. Lemon curd, homemade lemonade and crumbly feta salad have all contributed to diminishing the effects of the rain on my mood. When the Real Flavour of Tuscany landed on my doormat I knew there would be sunny days ahead! It's a beautifully photographed book which combines a travel log, life stories of Tuscans, snippets of village life and gorgeous rustic recipes all sourced from culinary artisans.
Cooks, winemakers, bee keepers and knife makers feature among others, allowing a glimpse into what they eat and how they spend their days. I never make up my mind about a cookbook before trying a few of the recipes and testing them out on my friends and family. After poring over the book and taking my families taste buds into consideration I decided on a meal consisting of peperonata, (braised red peppers), pollo schiacciato al limone peperoncino, (flattened spicy lemon chicken), patate arrosto alle erbe, (herbed roasted potatoes), all followed by torta di capezzana (olive oil cake) washed down with fresh, aromatic coffee.
I am feeding a family of five, two adults and three children and compliments to the chef, ahem, all there was left was empty plates! Gorgeous flavours and lovely aromas made for a delicious meal. I made a mistake by adding in the zest of a whole orange into the olive oil cake instead of a tablespoon full of it but none the less it was still delicious, it sliced beautifully and had a wonderful texture.
There are more recipes which i am looking forward to trying. Sformato di spinaci, (spinach flan), and penne alla fiesolana, (penne with prosciutto, cream and parmesan) are next on the to do list. The recipe for panna cotta con frutti di basco, (panna cotta with berry sauce) looks delicious and surprising easy to make so is sure to feature at my next dinner party!
The Real Flavour of Tuscany is not a book for your bookshelf but one to keep on your kitchen counter to provide inspiration, you wont have to look too far.