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A Dinner is Not Just a Meal..Red Radicchio,Dried Figs…

Posted in Abruzzo, aperitifs, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, Culinary Art, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Travel & customs, Uncategorized, Upcoming Appearances, and vegetarian

copyright 2012  Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati


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A cena (dinner) with friends is an all night event..from 8 PM to 1 AM..first the selection of the restaurant..then organizing the meetup of everyone..then  30 minutes  to organize the seating arrangement for 15..not an easy task…selection of courses..antipasti or not? first course or second course or both? With meat..without  meat…

For someone that is used to eating at 6 PM, a 9PM dinner is not an easy thing. Frustrating to say the least is the time spent between arriving at the restaurant and finally eating  the first morsel of food to arrive…this is the real ‘eating all’ Italiana ‘(eating Italian style). A meal becomes more like a long opera than a simple night out…But once it is all over you realize it was really worth it! Dinner becomes a true food experience, not just a meal….

The golden hue of the locally grown  potatoes and  the intense red radicchio make for a colorful canvas for any artist in the kitchen. The colors of winter decorate any plate.

Crostini with Radicchhio, Mozzarella and Caramelized Figs

To make caramelized figs:

8 ozs dried figs

6 tsps honey

2 branches of fresh rosemary

1 sage leaf

1 fresh red hot pepper cut into thin strips

2 whole fresh buffalo mozzarella ( Or fresh mozzarella)

1 small red radicchio

1/2 loaf crusty bread (baguette or similar)

Chop figs into  large pieces. Place in saute pan, drizzle honey on top.  Heat over low heat, melting honey. Cover with fresh rosemary, pepper strips, sage leaf. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl to cool.

Wash and clean head of radicchio. Set aside 8 whole leaves of radicchio and cut remaining leave in half. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan and place in radicchio leaves. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, set aside.

Cut mozzarella into thick slices. Cut baguette in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half. Place on baking sheet and place in oven under broil till golden on one side, remove from oven, turn over and repeat on other side.. Remove from oven. On each slice of bread place 2 fresh radicchio leaves, slice of mozzarella, sauteed radicchio, and finally top with caramellized figs. Drizzle with olive oil, dash of sea salt and serve immediately.

Serve with a dry Rose wine..

davinci Front Cover final 2


For more recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style here or in ebook exclusively available on Kindle.

See you on March 24-25th in Charlottesville Virginia at the Festival of the Book.

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