The first time I saw the flower sprouts was last week when I opened my weekly veggies box delivered in front of my door by Eatgrim.
These new trendy vegetables from the UK have surprised us either with the delicate sweet nutty taste or the consistency. These mini-vegetables are always crunchy and their leaves won’t get damaged even when boiled in salted water.How should you prepare these cross between Kale and Brussel sprout veggies? Stir- fry them with garlic and anchovies, as the Apulian Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe recipe.
These small irregular fried balls of yeast dough make me feel the Christmas atmosphere. In my hometown Ostuni, and all-around Apulia, people enjoy eating Pettole during the whole Christmas period, until the 6th of January.
Even now that I’m living in Denmark I want my family to feel the same joyful atmosphere, by preparing the Pettole. We love to eat them simply with a dash of salt but you could make them more tasty stuffing them with anchovies. They can easily be made sweet by dipping them in honey orVincotto, or just with a sprinkle of sugar.
Last summer my dear friends, Stefania and Francesco, invited me to a lunch in the cult OsteriaAntichi Sapori, located in Montegrosso, a bucolic village in Murgia countryside of Apulia region. At the time I was spending my summer holiday in Ostuni, 200 km away from that place, but despite the distance I didn’t hesitate to reach my friends for the lunch, and it was totally worth it.
When we were approaching the restaurant, we were surrounded by the silence that characterises this peculiar countryside, where olive trees stretch for hundreds of meters, interrupted just by vineyards and bounded by long dry-stone walls. In this area the most widespread cultivations are the Coratina olive trees, of which the unique “gold of Apulia” extra-virgin olive oil is made. In addition to that, it is worth mentioning the ancient grapevine Uva di Troia that produces the distinctive Nero di Troia red wine, one of the most known and typical wine of Apulia.
As soon as we arrived at the restaurant we were immediately hooked with this cozy place. We were welcomed by our friends and the cook-owner of the restaurant, Pietro Zito, who told us the story of his Osteria. He proudly wished to mention that he is not a chef but a cook and that he grew up in that village where the restaurant is located, feeling himself part of the landscape.
His philosophy is that “Antichi Sapori kitchen is managed by few simple rules: the love for the traditions, the respect for raw materials, seasonality and the excellence of the ingredients. You can watch the cooks work through a large window overlooking the hall or decide to personally visit the kitchen. Simplicity and genuineness are skills not to be hidden” (cit. Antichi Sapori).
Pietro let us enter his garden which is a biodynamic vegetable garden with Mediterranean scents of thyme and oregano, sage and marjoram and much, much more. This corner of northern Murgia is like a mosaic of biodiversity which he intends to preserve.
The lunch we got to eat was simply delicious, every dish was genuine and tasty. We ended the lunch eating one of the most delicious dessert we ever had: Ricotta and Almond paste Cassatina.
At the end of the day, Pietro gave the children a small bag of homemade caramelised almonds, and we received two of his valuable recipes.
Thanks Pietro and our dear friends, Stefania and Francesco, for inviting us to a such unforgettable day!
If you wish to continue this imaginary journey to Apulia with us, give “Antichi Sapori” recipes a try, without forgetting to pair them with two local wines: Rosè Wine CALAFURIA Tormaresca and Organic Red Wine ALMAGIA di Giancarlo Ceci.
For an intriguing and crispy fall aperitif, WalkingWine street – wineshop has visited Momo’- pescato – e – cucinato, a cosy restaurant, located in a small village named Savelleri and with a view on the Apulian sea.
The young owner of this place, Antonio Legrottaglie, has welcomed the Walkingwine crew with a frittura di pesce e verdure di stagione– a fried fish matched with seasonal vegetables. Walkingwine has paired this light and crispy meal with a glass of Minutolo – white wine – Azienda Pietregiovani, which was appointed by some expert sommeliers as a very intriguing wine.
Chef Antonio goes daily shopping and, based on the availability of seasonal ingredients and his inspiration, he meticulously chooses some ingredients, so that, regularly, some different dishes are added to the menu.
This small place (only 8 m2) is finely furnished with the colours of the sea. Antonio, accompanied by his inseparable fryer, his two induction fires and a small oven, prepares complete menus based exclusively on fish and vegetables. He never forgets to respect the environment: here you get your meal served solely on a biodegradable palm leaf!
The espresso coffee with almond milk syrup is a refreshing iced coffee native to Salento, the most Southern area of the Apulia region. The main city of this peninsula is Lecce, a fascinating and elegant city full of historic palaces and churches in Barocco Leccese style.
Many of the city’s buildings are decorated with friezes, capitals, pinnacles and rosettes, and are made of pietraLeccese. It’s a light brown limestone rock typical in these areas, known for its hardness and its ease of processing.
If you happen to be there, after a walk around the streets of the historical center, take a stop in a Bar in one of the plazas (Piazza Sant’ Oronzo or Piazza Duomo) and taste an iced coffee. We suggest also trying out Il Pasticiotto, a small pasta frolla cake filled with custard cream, as it’s one of the culinarie excellences of Lecce.
The monthly pairing presented by Walkingwine is Spaghetti con le cozze, thekey recipe of Il Veliero restaurant, andEdda Lei, Bianco Salento IGPwhitewine.
IlVeliero is located in Villanova – Marina di Ostuni (Apulia region).
Domenico and MasiettaCaliandro opened the fish restaurant in 2005, after many years of experience both in Italy and abroad.
The restaurant features high quality products, which are chosen every morning in the local fish and vegetable markets by Domenico himself. Beside that, Domenico relies on a rich variety of vegetables grown by Noe’, chef of the restaurant.
In the kitchen, Masietta and her son Davide, together with Chef Noe’, prepare great dishes following the traditional procedures and maintaining ancient tastes.
The Caliandro family revealed their key recipe to Walkingwine, Spaghetti con le cozze (see the recipe below).
Walkingwine paired the dish with a white wine, Edda Lei, ChardonnayBianco Salento IGP which, with its floral notes, it’s the perfect pairing to enhance the taste of the mussels.