Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Medici Gardens and inspired Italian dishes

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. 
Molto buona.

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)


  1. And was it all as delicious as it sounds? It must be. I may have to try some of those myself!

    I can see why your heart and thoughts are going toward Italy -- between Frances and those fab photos, what else could compare?

    Thanks so much for checking in on The Marmelade Gypsy -- I always love it when you come by!

  2. Good gracious Kirsten my dear, that table is A FEAST! And I love your idea about Under the Tuscan Sun inspiring you to garden...for me as well, reading certain stories gives me so many ideas and the idea of gardening with such passion, as one would put passion into painting or any other art, is essential. These photos are rich and lovely, and now you are also reminding me to relish every morsel of summer I can....olive oil on oven roasted garlic spread on good bread, fresh basil from my garden, and to listen to the birds. OH I can't wait!

    Thank you precious one for coming to visit. ENJOY!

  3. What a feast, Kirsten. Beautiful.

  4. This is the first time when I came on this topic and luckily found it nice thanks for this one. I must like to appreciate.

    house of medici


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