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Truffle Gnocchi

The onset of fall prompts an abundance of harvest festivals throughout the world.  From California’s “Crush” (wine grape harvest) to Munich’s Oktoberfest, there is no shortage on ways to celebrate colder temperatures and the gathering of crops.  If you find yourself in Northern Italy this fall, however, you might notice that interest in leaf-peeping, olive pressing, and even wine-making pales in comparison to the excitement of Truffle Season.  Exclusive to Northern and central Italy the arrival of the prized white truffle means that the small delicacy dominates the dinner table, and we thought we’d join in with this great recipe for Truffle Gnocchi.  The recipe calls for black truffles, but to really get a taste for the season we recommend substituting with white truffles. Buon appetito!

Travels with a Gourmet

Gougeres

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs (approximately)
  • 2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustar
  • Cayenne

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine the water, butter, salt and sugar and heat until the butter is melted. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a firm ball and breaks away from the edges of the pan.
  2. Remove the dough from the pan and beat in the eggs, one by one. If the eggs are very large, you may not need 4, if they are small, you may need more. Use enough to make the pâte à choux firm, smooth and waxy.
  3. Add the cheese, mustard and a few grains of cayenne to the pâte à choux and blend thoroughly. For a stronger flavor, you might add a bit more cheese.
  4. Butter a baking sheet and drop the dough by spoonfuls, or force it through the plain tube of a pastry bag, making small round mounds on the sheets.
  5. Sprinkle with a little additional cheese and a little cayenne or a few dashes of Tabasco.
  6. Bake in a 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the gougères to dry out in the oven for ten minutes before removing them. Don’t open the oven door during cooling.
  7. Enjoy hot or cold!

Frutti di Mare – Fruit of the Sea

Roasted Beet Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 Large Beets, peeled, scrubbed with ends cut off
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Vermont Maple Syrup
  • 5 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh, minced parsley
  • 8 scallions, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups mesclun (radicchio, watercress, spinach, arugula)
  • 6-8 tbsp sliced, fresh goat cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice beets and arrange in a large glass baking dish. Coat with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. In a preheated 350˚ oven, roast the beets for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven to cool. Then further slice the beets and set aside.
  2. While beets are cooking, whisk together the maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, parsley, scallions and salt in a medium bowl for the dressing and set aside.
  3. Once the beets have cooled, toss them with mesclun and dressing, top with the fresh goat cheese and serve. Note: For an added garnish add 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.