Essays about life in Italy, traveling in Italy, and more
Window on Italy - A Plethora of Food at the Weekly Market
Each Monday finds me early at the weekly market where I can buy just about anything I wish. The first of summer I stock up on linen sun dresses and new sandals made in Italy. The porchetta and cheese trucks draw me over to purchase sliced porchetta stuffed with rosemary on a bun, plus a kilo to take home or to munch on the samples of Pecorino cheese.
What I love above all things are the fruit and vegetable stands as they change with each season’s offerings. From the tiny asparagus in spring to the fava beans and ripe melons of summer, it is a feast for the eyes.
Last week the fresh figs appeared as summer draws to a close and the nights start getting cooler in mid-September. I could not resist picking up a couple of kilos to make my favorite fig compote to can and savor on a brisk winter’s night with roast pork. A perfect treat in late summer however, are fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto, a perfect marriage of sweet and salty!
Here are recipes for both.
4 figs, cut into sixths
Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each fig. Crumble some blue cheese on top of the prosciutto-wrapped figs. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each piece. Garnish with basil. Great served as an appetizer with a nice chilled Trebbiano or Grechetto Italian white wine!
Canned Fig Compote for Winter
Makes 8, 4 oz. jars of compote
Juice of 8 oranges
Mix figs, orange juice and sugar in bowl. Let meld in fridge for one hour; put into a non-reactive saucepan and add wine, water and rosemary bag. Bring to high boil then immediately on low simmer for one hour stirring occasionally until most liquid has evaporated. Leave wooden spoon in pan to draw heat up so it does not stick to bottom. Remove rosemary and ladle into glass jars leaving ¼ inch at top; process in water bath for 45 minutes. Cool and store to serve with roast pork. Or give as gifts to special friends!
© Colleen Simpson, 2013
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