"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."|
~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise
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Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking
by Lori De Mori
Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.
Torta salata (Savory Flan)
by The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines
This savory vegetable tart makes for an excellent side dish or vegetarian entree.
Torta salata (Savory Flan)
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Standing time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
300g plain flour
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
500g leeks (or onions, Swiss chard or other vegetable)
100g streaky bacon
Work the flour, water, oil and salt together to form a smooth dough. Leave to rest for half an hour, then roll out and use to line a buttered flan dish. You can use almost any kind of vegetable for the filling, such as leeks, onions, chard, spinach or whatever is available. Wash, clean, drain and chop, add to the diced bacon and fry in the melted butter. Beat the eggs and add the grated Parmesan with a pinch of nutmeg and salt. Off the heat, stir into the fried vegetables and then pour into the lined flan dish. Bake in the oven at 180° for thirty minutes. Before bringing to the table, wash and dry some leaves of parsley and arrange them on top of the flan in an attractive flower pattern.
In the words of Domenico Romoli, "A vegetable tart...cook it the way you cook tarts".
This recipe was reprinted with the gracious permission of The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines. The Art of Cookery: Traditional Florentine and Tuscan Recipes and Wines offers a wide variety of information about traditional Florentine and Tuscan cuisine, including a huge collection of fantastic recipes and basic information about this fascinating cuisine.
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
by Frances Mayes
A beautifully written book about life and food in Tuscany, Under the Tuscan Sun is filled with wonderfully evocative vignettes about Tuscan life and Mayes' experiences renovating a Tuscan villa. While more about the renovation experience than brilliant insight into the culture or food of Tuscany, there are plenty of wonderful spots for the foodlover. Many of the recipes do grasp the essence of Tuscany, and the book makes for a great escape, especially in the middle of a cold and dreary winter.