Italy is still occupying a fair amount of space in my head this week.
Still reading Under the Tuscan Sun
which inspired some yard work
though my yard will never look like these Medici Gardens you see here.
But the best part was the inspired cooking.
The Chef was nicknamed thus
chiefly because he is the better cook in our house.
But this weekend I decided to try some of the recipes
Frances Mayes includes in the book.
I made Bruschette on crostini with roasted red and yellow pepper,
basil, tomato, garlic and olive oil.
(Btw, she has several recipes for bruschette.)
(This almost looks like it could be her in the background.)
Then her Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
crusted with crushed fennel, rosemary and garlic.
At nearly the end of cooking time,
a sauce of steamed fennel pureed with white wine,
parmigiano and mascarpone is poured over the top
and cooked another 10 minutes.
And a warm portobello salad with
roasted red and yellow peppers
and fresh garden greens.
Dessert was pears steeped in red wine
with figs and a dollop of honey-sweetened mascarpone.
It was a feast with weather fabulous enough
to eat outside!
I love this feast photo.
Though I don't recall where in Italy it was taken,
it seems perfect that the Italian's love of sunglasses,
fashion and food should share the same picture.
I can't wait to get my hands on some of her other books
for the long holiday weekend.
Reading this first one from a different perspective
gives it a sparkling newness.
And the others will be read for the first time.
Who knows what inspiration will be birthed?!
(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)