JUNE 30 - JULY 2 BEGINNINGS, ENDINGS AND SUMMER TRUFFLES 1
I have always loved the concept of dining on starters and endings, especially as I find Tuscan starters are often a meal in themselves. Climbing summer temperatures make this the perfect time to concentrate on the vast selection of Tuscan ANTIPASTI, PRIMI and DOLCI (Antipasti, First Courses and Desserts). Some of these are with meat and some without. Vegetables are colourful and flavourful. It is the superlative month for tomatoes and variety and usage constantly surprizes me. It is also pesto making month for Tuscans and survival quantities of freshly washed pungent green basil leaves are a common sight drying in the early morning sun. Pasta in all its wondrous shapes and forms, filled and not, Gnocchi, Risotto, Crespelle, Lasagne, Soups, all take centre stage.
I love desserts and have adapted my favourite recipes to use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to be a little less sinful, converting Tuscans in the process.
This is the period for summer truffles in Tuscany: black scorzone. Flavour-wise they are milder than the prized white autumn truffles. The two hour morning truffle hunt with our ‘tartufaio’ and his truffle dog is as enjoyable as the autumn hunt. Back home we will prepare dinner with our truffles. Before returning home we will visit a fifth generation wine producer of international repute.