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On The Road Again..Enjoying Local Produce.

Posted in cucina, cucina povere, Events & Appearances, La Dolce Vita, and Uncategorized




                                                     zucchini salad




copyright 2009, Maria Liberati

From locally produced zucchini and plumcots to heirloom trip to Annapolis ,Maryland down to Fairfax Virginia…was a delicious  one. 

Traveling by car (in the US) when possible is a wonderful way to discover not only new places but new local produce wherever you are. Stop at local farm markets or stores that carry local produce. If you can find a hotel room with a kitchenette-even better- you may be able to make a dinner or lunch using your local finds.

A simple lunch -of yogurt and locally produced fruit was a refreshing lunch to enjoy -without having to cook. Local  plumcots were juicy and sweet and made the yogurt ever so luscious…. the perfect way ot make  a container of yogurt into  a meal. Fresh local zucchini cut up and put on top of a pre prepared salad made it into a local summer treat..a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and that was all I needed for a light summer dinner. (sorry no wine… I was driving, so I had to skip the wine)

Thanks to  the Tuscan Picnic and wine pairing event I hosted  at Whole Foods- Fair Lakes, Virginia– I also discovered some new great wines. I asked for the white wine Est!Est Est! for the appetizer  course  I prepared and they didn’t have that but substituted a  Tuscan wine called Vernaccio. It complemented the Tuscan  bean salad so well..

A Barolo Rose was served with the Insalata di Riso con Rucola e Pomodoro (Cold rice salad with arugula and tomatoes). Light and refreshing as well.
But the star of the event was the Casorza served with the dessert course which was a crema di ricotta con frutta (ricotta cream with fruit). I had selected a Braccheto D”Acqui that I know so well from many a special occasions we have celebrated and many dessert and wine pairings I have hosted at  vineyards in Italy.  I was disappointed to hear they did not have that and would need to choose a substitute..but the substitute wine  was definitely a ‘twin’ of Bracchetto and paired so well with the desseet.

Casorza is from Piemonte (the Piedmont region of Italy (like  Bracchetto) and it is bubbly, light, red ,and has  tinge of sweetness but fits just as well with appetizers as desserts. The bubbles  and its’ tinge of sweetness just float along your tongue and produce a yummy combination when paired with a light dessert! A festive wine that makes any occasion..even an afternoon  Tuscan Picnic-a special one..

Thnaks to all 84 of you that came out to share the picnic with us at the Fair Lakes Whole Foods, I so enjoyed sharing the event with you and meeting you all…… and for those of you that tried to register after the class sold out..put your name on the waiting list  (before my next event sells out) I will be back to do another dinner and wine pairing event from my best selling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and the new release (released in Sept 2009) The Basic Art of Italian Cooking -Holidays and Special Occasions.

If you that were not able to make it out to the Fair Lakes Whole Foods The Basic Art of Italian Cooking- Tuscan Picnic event, here are the recipes..don’t forget to pair them with the wines suggested and if you are near the Fair Lakes Whole Foods you can get your copy of  The Basic Art of Italian Cooking there.

Mangia Bene, Vivi Bene


Hope to see you at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking events.  Come join us for the book release at :

July 31-August 2-Atlantic City Food & Wine

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