Side Dishes (Contorni)

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, whether it is roasted and tossed with ravioli, made into a tart, a salad or served with eggs, is something we look forward to every spring in California.…
Mediterranean Lentil and Bulgur Salad

Mediterranean Lentil and Bulgur Salad

  Lentils are one of the world’s oldest health foods. This little lens-shaped legume came to the Americas in the early 16th century. During World War II, people began to…
Marinated Baby Artichokes

Marinated Baby Artichokes

  Native to the western and central Mediterranean, the artichoke is a domesticated variety of the wild cardoon. Cardone, in Italian, is a thistle and looks like large stocks of…
Pear, Pecan & Gorgonzola Salad

Pear, Pecan & Gorgonzola Salad

  This past New Year’s Day, I made this sensational salad with caramelized pears. It’s really good! Today, I only have one pear and am in a bit of a…
Double Cauliflower with Chard and Onions

Double Cauliflower with Chard and Onions

  Inexpensive and readily available, cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. It is high in vitamins C and K, potassium, manganese, folate, fiber and cancer-preventing glucosinolates. If you are (currently) not…
Burrata & Tomatoes

Burrata & Tomatoes

  Burrata is a cream filled mozzarella sack. Invented in Puglia, Italy, as a way to use the scraps of curds left over after twisting balls of  mozzarella. The scraps…
Shaved Zucchini Salad

Shaved Zucchini Salad

  This is a fresh and flavorful raw zucchini dish featuring tangy capers and ricotta salata. The words ‘Ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘Salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is a Sicilian…
Fresh Peach Caprese

Fresh Peach Caprese

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  There is only one authentic Insalata Caprese and it originated in Capri, Italy. Traditionally, tomatoes are used in the infamous dish. Since it is peach season and I have…

Pantelleria Potato Salad

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  Potato salad with olives, tomatoes and capers is a popular salad on the island of Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea). Capers are a small but distinctive…
Honey Roasted Fennel

Honey Roasted Fennel

  Fennel, a favorite Italian vegetable, customarily eaten raw with a bit of salt, sees the year’s second crop in Autumn. We enjoy it in soups, salads, a creamy bowl…
Roasted Baby Eggplant

Roasted Baby Eggplant

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  Roasted, stuffed, grilled and fried, are just some of the methods Italians (particularly southern Italians and Sicilians) use to turn this versatile vegetable into a vast variety of dishes.…
Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese

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    The Isle of Capri, Italy, situated in the Bay of Napoli, is probably most noted for the Grotta Azzurra, (Blue Grotto) a sea cave that is filled with a…
Giardiniera

Giardiniera

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  The Italian giardiniera, pronounced jar-dih-NAIR-ah, means from the garden and is a classic combination of vegetables. Cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots, celery and serrano chili peppers are mixed and…
Cauliflower with Crispy Crumbs

Cauliflower with Crispy Crumbs

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  I enjoy all sorts of vegetables, but cauliflower is one of my favorites. As a child, my siblings and I were introduced to this cruciferous vegetable with my mother’s…
Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Melanzane alla Parmigiana

  Whenever my son, Joe, and I try a new Italian restaurant, the “one dish” that is a make-or-break decision to return, is eggplant Parmesan. The ingredients should compliment one…
Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

  I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve ever made this squash. Last month my husband and I made a trip to our cabin in the California Sierras.…
Spaghetti Stuffed Eggplant

Spaghetti-Stuffed Eggplant

  Pasta and eggplant are often enjoyed together, whether it’s the classic Pasta alla Norma, an eggplant and spaghetti pie or simply a plate of buccatini to accompany Melanzane alla…
Lasagna Summer Salad

Lasagna Summer Salad

  This salad has the taste of summer written all over it! Vine-ripened, sweet, juicy tomatoes, fresh ricotta and a simple light basil pesto transform the traditional hearty lasagna. Okay,…

Panzanella Salad

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  Italians waste nothing … not even stale bread! Bread salad is a perfect example of la cucina povera, peasant food. Only a few humble ingredients are needed to turn…
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