Large, plump, pinkish-brown in colour with reddish-brown streaks. Borlotti beans are widely used in Italian cooking and have a sweetish flavour with a smooth creamy texture. They work very well in salads and casseroles.
Vegan Pasta & Fagioli
with Cavolo Nero
shared by Dario
Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper
1/2 medium onion (diced), 3 medium cloves garlic (minced), 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
300-350g of Borlotti Beans
1.5 litres of vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
Optional: 2-3 plum tomatoes
300-400g of Pasta shells (Conchiglie)
Set a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil. When hot, add the onion. Saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary. Saute, stirring constantly, for one more minute.
Pod the beans and add them to the pot, along with the broth, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil.
After 10-15 minutes, add the finely chopped cavolo nero.
After another 10-15 minutes, turn the heat off. By this time, the beans should be very soft
Using an immersion blender, you can now puree ONLY PART of the mixture right in the pot (you can also puree in a blender and return to the pot). This will give the sauce a creamy consistency, but still leaving many of the beans intact.
Add the pasta. Cook until al dente.
Taste, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan (for the non-vegans). Don’t forget the crusty bread served alongside!
It first came as a surprise to us when we discovered courgettes are sometimes considered boring vegetables in England.
This is often attributed to their abundance in the summer months, but also to their watery, bland flavour.
Admittedly, if picked small and eaten raw, boiled or gently sautéed, courgettes are not the most exciting of vegetables.
However, in Mediterranean cooking they are usually picked when they are slightly more mature, and are considered one of the most recognisable ingredients of summer dishes.
Courgettes' flavour really comes out when they are either roasted, fried or grilled. Below is a fantastic example shared by Laura:
Italian Courgette Gratin
shared by Laura
Line the base of the tray with extra virgin oil, cut the courgettes in thin slices and lay them down with salt, red onion and cherry tomatoes on the top. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and parmesan all over with a tiny bit of oil, salt and pepper. Finally, put the tray in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes.
Florence (bulb) Fennel
In Italy, where this variety of fennel was originally bred, it is often eaten raw in salads.
Another popular way to serve it is gratin. Its leaves/fronds make fantastic pesto
shared by Flavia, photo by Tracey
80g fennel fronds, 120ml olive oil, 80g parmesan (optional), 40g walnuts, 1 garlic glove (optional), salt
Place all the ingredients and half of the oil in a food processor, blend or pulse until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Blend again and slowly pour the rest of the oil until the desired consistency is achieved.
Calendula petals can be used in baking, salads or to make Calendula oil - which is widely used in herbal medicine for its wound healing and skin protection properties. Calendula tea, made with dried petals has been shown to improve digestion and have antimicrobial properties that can strengthen the immune system.
adapted from Mountain Rose Herbs
perfect used alone or as an ingredient in salves,
massage oils, lip balms, creams, and lotions. Do not assume internally during pregnancy. Consult a doctor if in doubt.
Fill a glass jar 2/3 of the way full with dried calendula flowers.
If using fresh calendula, wilt for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar.
Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers by at least one inch with oil so they will have space to expand.
Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake once or more daily.
After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth.
Pour the infused oil into glass bottles and store in a cool, dark place.
Beetroot is an extremely versatile vegetable root, it comes in different colours and degrees of sweetness and it's available all year round.
We prefer it roasted, at 180C for 30 minutes, but below you can find a few interesting alternatives.
Beetroot & Spring Onion Frittata
shared by Flavia
Ingredients: 2-3 medium size beetroots, 3-4 spring onions,
5 eggs, salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil
Boil the beetroots for 10 minutes or roast them for 30 minutes (at 180C) and slice them
Sautée the Spring Onions in a flat pan. Once the onions are browned, add the beetroot.
In a deep bowl break the eggs and whisk them vigorously with some parmesan, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mix in the pan and fry until it settles. Turn after about 4-5 minutes to cook both sides and make them firm and brown.P
Turn upside down in a large plate and serve this way up.
Italian Summer Squash
This is a variety of squash that originated in the Middle East and whose fruits taste like courgette, are short, chubby and stay tender to a greater size. They have a great texture and are great sautéed with gentle heat or roasted.
Summer Squash boat
shared by Flavia
Ingredients: 2 large summer squash, 100g millet grain, 2 onions, 200g tomatoes, 1 egg, parmesan or cheese (optional), salt and pepper
Cut the Summer Squash in two halves, scoop out the flesh and leave it on one side.
Pre-cook the two hollow halves in boiling water for 5 minutes (optional)
Cook the millet in salty boiling water for 15 minutes, rinse it and leave it to cool down.
Cut the onions, tomatoes, and the internal pulp of the summer squash. Add them into a bowl with the millet and the egg, add pepper and mix all the ingredients together.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°
Fill the Summer Squash with the millet mix, add the grated cheese on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Curly Endive (Frisée)
Curly Endive is a very popular salad green in Italy, France and the US. It is also a common ingredient in Caesar salads. However, we recommend that you try it steamed or stir-fried. It has a bitter lettuce taste, but when cooked it softens into a sweeter nutty flavour.
Curly Endive with walnuts and raisins
shared by Flavia
Ingredients: 400g of Curly Endive, 1-2 Garlic cloves, raisins, walnuts.
Boil the endive in salted water for 8-10 minutes.
Drain it and leave it to partially cool.
Soak the raisins in water for 5 minutes.
In a pan, sauté some minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil.
As soon as the garlic is starting to soften, add the endive, walnuts and raisins.
Radicchio (pronounced rah-dee-key-oh) is a type of chicory with white veins and deep reddish-purple leaves that form a tight head.
Before using, trim any brown off of the stem and remove the limp outer leaves. Slice raw radicchio into thin strips and add to salads for extra crunch and a hit of spicy bitterness. When cooked, radicchio's bitter bite mellows and sweetens a little. It takes well to high-heat cooking methods like roasting and grilling, but it can also be slow-cooked and combined with other vegetables or meat.
Radicchio & Walnut
shared by Flavia
Ingredients: 300g of basmati rice, 1 large radicchio head, 1 leek, 1 garlic glove, 30g raisins, 35g walnuts, 2 tbsp apple vinegar, Gorgonzola cheese optional.
Cook the basmati rice in a pot being careful to not overcook it
Soak raisins in water for 10 minutes
Sautée leeks and garlic in a wok for a few minutes then add the raisins with all their water and the crushed walnuts and cook until the leeks are soft.
Wash and cut the radicchio and add it to the pan, let it cook for 5 minute, then add the apple cider vinegar,
cook until the radicchio is ready.
Now you can add the Gorgonzola cheese!
At last add the rice and mix all together