Monthly Archives: September 2013

Blackberries for Igor

September 23, 2013

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The season for blackberries in Pantelleria is long. It begins in early July and ends in early September. The berries ripen, dry up and are then scorched by August’s heat. As soon as the weather begins to cool a bit, after the middle of August, the bushes bloom again and in come new berries. During my morning walks in Ghirlanda I pick them and eat them as a breakfast on the go. Sometimes I bring a basket to fill because Igor, the dog who usually refuses both fruits and vegetables, ADORES blackberries. He munches them up in seconds wagging his tail the whole time. Then he looks up at me as if to say, “Thanks! Can I have some more?” and his mustache is all purple. Watching him so happy fills my heart. I just love this guy!

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Once in a while I make a cobbler that’s not too bad either. Served with vanilla ice cream, it is basically heaven on a plate.

Blackberry Cobbler
Serves 8
The recipe fits a baking pan of 9.5 in (24 cm) in diameter.
Grease the baking pan with butter.

9 oz (250 grams) room temperature soft butter
1 Tablespoon bourbon vanilla sugar
1 pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) almonds roughly chopped
1 cup (2.4 dl) caster sugar
1.5 cup ( 3.6 dl) of flour
4 cups (1 lit) of black berries

Mix all the ingredients for the dough using your hands.
Pour in the black berries in the baking pan and add the dough in dots or lumps around the berries
Bake at 400 degrees F (200C) for about 15 minutes.
Serve the cobbler with a good vanilla ice cream

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Fennel bites with almond and cheese crust

September 11, 2013

There are four huge almond trees in the garden, and they provide us with an abundance of almonds. Beginning at the end of August into the first weeks of September this is the time to harvest. The following recipe is for a popular snack served Under the Almond Trees that includes ingredients that I could solely live on for a long time. Fennel, almonds, oregano and cheese! Treat yourself, family and friends by trying this simple recipe serve with a nice glass of red.



Fennel with almond and cheese crust
8-10 bites

1 pound (450 grams) fennel bulb slices
1/2 cup (1,2 dl) raw almonds
9 (oz) 250 gram of cheese that melts and browns well, I used a 50/50 combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
Olive oil to saute fennel
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of Origano di Pantelleria (dried oregano)

Set the oven at broil 530 F degrees (275 C).
Rinse and clean the fennel, cut slices about 0.3 inches (0.75 cm) thick.
In a saucepan saute the fennel in olive oil, salt and pepper.
They are cooked enough when the slices softens and produces a slightly golden.
Since the pieces will be different in size, they will have different cooking time, pay attention to remove the smaller pieces from the pan first.

Coarsely chop the almonds, in a bowl grate the cheeses and combine together with the almonds. Arrange fennel pieces on the baking sheet, give the portions enough space on the tray cover with cheese and almond mixture then into the oven fennel portions. Place baking pan in the oven 3/4 of the way not quite directly under the broiler in the oven for about 3-5 minutes. When golden brown remove tray from oven and sprinkle oregano on top allow to cool slightly to let the cheese set before serving.


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