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Posts tagged ‘winter greens’

Eat Your Greens

Olives infested with olive fly still on the tree during the last snowstorm here (Photo credit: Amanda Roelle).

Olives infested with olive fly still on the tree during the December 31, 2014 snowstorm here (Photo credit: Amanda Roelle).

The temperature here is dropping as I write. Snow flurries and high winds blew in last night, but today’s snowfall is almost an afterthought, with patches of brilliant blue sky behind ominous clouds. Maybe it’s counter-intuitive, but we welcome the chill if it will lay waste to the olive fly larvae that burrow in the soil of our olive grove. There’s little else to do but stay inside and cook while entertaining visions of insect death and destruction, hoping the incongruity of these two activities doesn’t indicate something troubling about my state of mind. Read more

Benessere

Deep-fried yeasty dough balls called pettole are as Christmas-y as it gets in Puglia.

Deep-fried yeasty dough balls called pettole mean Christmas in Puglia.

After the eating endurance event known as a southern Italian holiday season, we’re tightening our belts. Or at least we’re making an effort in hopes of tightening them. Pasta al forno, that decadent layered masterpiece of the Christmas table here, has been banished from ours. Likewise the zampone, a pig’s trotter stuffed with, yes, more pork, is off the list. And the pettole? Those deep-fried puffs of yeasty dough immersed in vanilla-scented sugar are now just a guilt-tinged memory. But if you think we’re resigned to insipid plates of sad, boiled vegetables, you are dead wrong. We’ve embraced a world of flavor with the bounty of Puglia’s winter vegetable, fruit, grain, nut, seed and legume harvest. And Puglia’s seafood and farm players still figure in the equation, playing a supporting role to great effect. Read more

Apologies to Sora Lella

Tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and chicken simmer together for Pollo alla Romana.

Tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and chicken simmer together for Pollo alla Romana.

Now that carnevale is over and we are immersed in the 40 sober, reflective days of quaresima (Lent), you would think that the excess of the Pugliese table would be significantly dialed back. But you would be wrong. Yes, the delightful chiacchiere carnival sweets are officially off the menu and there is a renewed observance of meatless Friday, but the butcher shops in Martina Franca seem just as busy as ever. Still, we’re seizing the moment to engage in some Lenten deprivation of our own if we are to hold our heads high at the beach this summer. Read more

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