Spring in Sicily
Anna says... 08/05/2012
I am just back from a week's holiday in Sicily. We have a dream villa on the north coast of Sicily, overlooking the Aeolian Islands. The weather was amazing, the light and the colours are almost too bright for somebody who has spent a whole winter in London…The perfume of the spring flowers is everywhere. Pitosphoum and Jasmine are now in full bloom and their sweet smell is almost too strong.
Having been successful in losing more than one stone during the last 3 months I have gained 2 kilos in just one week! It is just impossible not to eat when you have such a bounty of produce available and the food is so delicious.
This is the season for artichokes, fava beans, asparagus, all kinds of greens and salads.
|Deliciously fresh and green asparagus enjoyed with Enrico (an ex chef at Venturis table) and his fiancée who now live together in Sicily.|
Citrus fruit is towards the end of the season, and you can still find tiny mandarins which are as sweet as candies. Not to mention the first local strawberries and cherries.
|The juicy sweet mandarins||Sicilian Lemons
Because I have decided to start a blog, I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with food, in connection with my job as a cookery teacher, a cook, and the principal of the only Corporate Cookery Centre in London.
I was brought up in Italy in a family where food was always an important part of everyday life. I remember my grandmother – Nonna Dea – asking my mother every morning over the first morning coffee: “What shall we cook today?” That was an important part of the day.s planning. The ingredients were always excellent and inevitably the result of the food that was presented on the family.s table was good. But it was never considered special. It was „normal. to eat well. Nothing was constructed, nothing was made to „impress..
Looking back, I think this is the reason I started teaching Italian cookery. I wanted to share with others the pleasure of simple food, prepared with care, with no need to create anything fancy. When you have the best products at your disposal, you do not need to do much with it. I have been sharing my joy of good food, with a sense of respect for the ingredients. Some of the recipes I see on television these days I call, „masturbation of food.; super elaborate constructions with dozens of ingredients that have been used to disguise the fact the some ingredients are not the best.
Nothing like that happens in Sicily. Have a look at the pictures from the weekly market in a small town on the north coast of Sicily! That speaks by itself. I am back in London today, I brought back some delicious artichokes in my suitcase. I will have some tonight (see my artichoke recipe) and I go back on my diet from tomorrow, trying to lose all the weight I gained. But…I definitely do not regret eating what I ate!
|Violette Aubergines||Medlar Fruit – now in season
|The delicious treats that helped me gain the two kilos!
|One of my favourite cookbooks: Sicilian Food by Mary Taylor Simeti