Six delicious ways to cook eggplants this summer

According to Wikipedia the eggplant has a special place in folklore. In 13th-century Italy, the eggplant was believed to cause insanity. In 19th-century Egypt, insanity was said to be “more common and more violent” when the eggplant is in season in the summer.

I don’t know about eggplant-induced craziness, but similar believes, which seems largely unfounded, have survived well into our times. We Italians don’t generally feel the need to deprive ourselves of these nutritious and versatile vegetables and enjoy cooking them in many ways. I hope you will enjoy them too!

 

  1. Slice thinly, quickly blanch then grill. Marinade in your best olive oil plus garlic and lemon juice. A perfect side dish.

  2. Griddle as int the first photo above or roast whole eggplants. Swirl the sweet insides with ricotta and mint or basil to make a herby dip.

    roasted eggplant ricotta dip

  3. or make my lazy basil sformato a perfect appetizer or vegetarian main for 2.

  4. Stir fry Italian style. In Umbria we call it bandiera. It’s like ratatouille, but better.

  5. have time? go classic and prepare an authentic eggplant parmigiana, the real one with fried eggplants.

    Don’t know how to fry eggplants? watch my “vintage” video here (bonus: the little girl in the video is 8 years old Tea!)

  6. Have a crowd? make this fabulous Sicilian pasta bake, pasta incasciata, which feeds a small army and makes everyone happy. A great make ahead recipe too.

…..and if you feel a little bit crazy, now you know, it probably because of the eggplants.

Happy cooking!

 

 

 

PS. The new prints of  “A kitchen with a view” are beautiful and they have finally been delivered to Amazon (US/CA). All copies are signed by me, find them here!

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: //incampagna.com/six-delicious-ways-cook-eggplants-summer/

Four June events in Umbria you don’t want to miss right now

Spring in Umbria is a feast for eyes and soul alike. There are flowers everywhere Local hiking trails and mountain paths come alive with poppies and yellow broom, along with hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders. Everybody is out and about.  We have magnificent festivals in which many local residents don medieval garb and hold days of concerts, processions, crossbow tournaments, and medieval reenactments. Flea, flower and food markets flourish, especially on weekends.

You have too many choices and to litte time to visit Umbria? If you are here during this beautiful time of the jear, don’t miss these 4 festivals which give you an opportunity to mingle with the locals, learn about their traditions and taste some fabulous foods:

 

1. Fior di Cacio Cheese festival in Vallo di Nera, not far from Spoleto, June 10-11th. Join the locals in this picture perfect mountain village for a marathon of cheese talk , cheese games, cheese making and obviously plenty tasting and drinking.

2. Mercato delle Gaite medieval market  festival, in Bevagna, 15 to 25th June. One of the most beautiful medieval festival in the whole year based on the ancient village crafts of paper, glass making and weaving.

3. Festa della Lavanda, Lavender Bloom festival in Castelnuovo di Assisi, June 17-18th and 24-25th. Lavender of all colors with a view of Assisi in the background, bring your camera and a hat!

Lavender fields with view on Assisi Umbria

4. Infiorata Spello, the street of the beautiful village are covered in paintings made with flowers to celebrate Corpus Christi, June 18 . Visit in the nigh to admire the village people making these mesmerizing flower carpets with thousand of fresh flower petals. Return early in the morning to  see the result of their efforts before the Corpus Christi procession which will destroy it by simply walking on it to celebrate the sacred day. A once in a lifetime experience!

flower

 

 

 

 

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Permanent link to this article: //incampagna.com/four-june-events-you-dont-want-to-miss-in-umbria-right-now/

A Kitchen with a View US Book Tour 2017: You are invited!

Starting March 14, 2017, Letizia will be embarking on a book tour, beginning in Washington DC, then branching out across the East Coast from Virgina to Massachusetts. Letizia will be hosted by several independent shops, cultural institutions, and restaurants. All have been incredibly generous to invite her to visit and share her passion for Umbria, its culture, beauty, talents, plus of course the wonderful food she has written about in A Kitchen with a View!

 

March 17, 2017, 6:30-8:00PM
A Kitchen with a View cookbook signing and presentation with a slide show at Via Umbria in the Art Gallery, Washington DC. It’s a free event but make sure to register here.
March 19, 2017, 5:00-9:00PM
Cookbook dinner and book signing at Nota Bene Richmond, VA. Chef Randall Doetzer will make his magic in the wood-fired oven to create an Umbrian inspired seasonal menu. RSVP here.
March 21, 2017, 1:00 PM
Book signing with the Italian-American Cultural Association of Virginia. Details to be announced soon.
March 21, 2017, 6:30 PM
C
ookbook dinner with fabulous Umbrian wines at Enoteca Sogno, Richmond, VA. Semi-private event with limited seating!
March 23, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM
An Evening in Assisi, cookbook dinner at Gran Cafè L’Aquila in collaboration with America-Italy Society in Philadelphia. The team at Riccardo Longo’s splendid eatery/gelateria/coffee roastery is planning a delicious menu based on Letizia’s authentic family recipes paired with Umbrian Wine and their award winning gelato. Booking is essential via the AISPhila website.
March 27, 2017, 6:00-9:30 PM
Umbrian dinner at Porsena in NYC hosted by Renaissance woman and pasta master Sara Jenkins.
March 30, 2017, 6:30-8:30 PM
Italy, Revisiting and Reinventing Traditions: Umbria. Letizia will talk about the Umbrian traditions and demonstrate how to make fresh local pasta, an ancient recipe which she has adapted to the modern life of busy cooks.  The event is hosted by The Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts. To register please click here and open the event page on March 30th.
April 1st, 2017, 2:00 to 4:00 PM
Join Letizia at The Harvard Coop at Harvard Square in Cambridge MA for a talk about Umbrian rural life and cuisine and a signing of “A Kitchen with a View“ followed by a hands-on demonstration of how to make stringozzi, a rustic pasta from Umbria. Free event, please register here.
April 3rd, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Umbrian Wine dinner and book signing at Pane e Vino in Providence RI with the honorable National Organization of Italian American Women. The event hosted by to NOIAW is expected to sell out soon (book here), however, Pane e Vino will serve the same delicious Umbrian inspired dishes also a la carte in a different area of the restaurant.

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Permanent link to this article: //incampagna.com/a-kitchen-with-a-view-us-book-tour-2017-you-are-invited/

Easy Gluten Free Flatbread

  • 140 g (5 oz) of your favorite gluten free flour mix (or see here )
  • 140 g (5 oz) yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Psyllium husks
  • 1 e 1/2 teaspoon (5 g)  baking powder

In a food processor, mix all ingredients to obtain a very soft ball of dough. Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to obtain a 1/4 inch thick disk. Griddle in a cast iron skillet until golden on both sides, about 20 min. Serve hot. Great for fajitas or good prosciutto wraps.

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Permanent link to this article: //incampagna.com/easy-gluten-free-flatbread/

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