Monthly Archives: July 2014

Passito spiced summer cherries

July 24, 2014

This is my local take on Maraschino cherries, but instead of Maraschino liqueur I used our local sweet wine, Passito di Pantelleria. Originally maraschino cherries were made from marasca cherries (originated in Croatia) which were then preserved in Italy’s maraschino liqueurs. Since I am not using Maraschino liqueur, rather Passito di Pantelleria such as Sangue  d’oro  and the local cherries “Amarena”. The cherries need to sit in the jar for about two weeks to really soak in the spices before serving. Eat the cherries as a dessert with or without vanilla ice cream, place them on top of a cupcakes or as a garnish to a whiskey sour.
Chin chin!AT-CF038203 1Passito spiced summer cherries
1 Cup (2.4 dl) sugar
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) water
3 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
1 Clove
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1 Vanilla bean cut and seeds scraped
2 LB (900 grams) sweet stoned cherries (use your local variety)
1 Cup ( 2.4 dl) of Passito di Pantelleria

Wash and remove all the cherry’s stones.
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients excluding the cherries and the Passito allowing them to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the cherries and simmer for 8-10minutes. Remove from heat, add the Passito and let cool.
Transfer the cherries and liquid into clean jars and cover tightly and refrigerate for two weeks.

Almond Bar’s Whiskey Sour
1 part Bourbon whiskey
2 part simple syrup, recipe for simple sirup here
1 part lemon juice
1 Passito spiced cherry

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and serve with a cherry on the top. If it’s a hot summer day serve with some extra ice.



Panzanella Pantesca

July 17, 2014

This year we went all out with the tomatoes. We planted a bunch of different varieties hoping to get different flavors, colors and sizes. In these last few days we have harvested 10 -12 boxes every day. Carlo’s granny Rosa is making tomato sauce to preserve for the winter. We are eating, giving away and paying for our breakfasts in the bar with tomatoes.

Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan bread salad. Here is a local version with anchovies and the Rolls Royce, the Bentley, rather, of capers “Capperi di Pantelleria.”  This panzanella is a perfect light and satisfying meal to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. Invite some friends for lunch, pop a chilled bottle of prosecco and dig in.


Panzanella Pantesca
Serves 6-8
1/2 Loaf of old white bread
1/2 Cup (1.2 dl) extra virgin olive oil
3 Each cloves of garlic
2 Pounds (1 kilo) of mixed variety of tomatoes
1 Red small sized onion
1 Fresh red chili pepper minced
1/3 Cup ( 0.8 dl) black olives
4 Tablespoon rinsed and drained salt packed capers ( Capperi di Pantelleria)
20 Small fillets of anchovies packed in oil (reserve oil for dressing)
1 Bunch of basil leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoon of the oil that contains the anchovies
Sea salt flakes and fresh ground pepper to your taste

Break bread into bite sized pieces, in a saute pan over medium heat, warm the oil add crush the cloves of garlic add to the pan, then add in a little sea salt flakes. Toast the bread in the pan with seasoned garlic oil until it’s golden. Remove toasted bread from the pan place on top of a paper lined tray and set a side. Let any left over oil cool and reserve to use in the dressing.

Wash and remove the outer skin of the red onion. Cut off the stem side, lay flat on the cut surface and proceed to cut the onion in half. Remove the root core then length wise cutting stem to root cut the onion into strips.

Finely chop the chlli pepers, wash, core and cut the tomatoes into wedges.

Combine in a large bowl the bread, tomatoes and onions, capers, olives, anchovies and basil leaves.

In a small bowl whisk together, balsamic vinegar, rest of the olive oil, 2 Tablespoon of anchovies oil, the red chili, pepper and sea salt.

Pour dressing over the top of the bread, tomatoes and onions in the large bowl. Toss all ingredients as to combine everything, then, let the bread soak up the juice from the tomatoes and olive oil.


Get your Capperi di Pantelleria here!

Summer lemonade

July 14, 2014

This last days has been really hot and what’s better for a dry mouth than a lemonade this hot afternoons in the garden. I usually make a lemonade concentrate and if there are leftover I pour it in a bottle and save it in the fridge. When serving I couldn’t resist decorating the lemonade with some mallow flowers. If you have extra time on your hand you could also freeze eatable flower in the ice cubes to give it a summery and colorful look.


The recipe will make around 6 cups  (14 dl) of lemonade concentrate


2 cups  (4.8 dl) caster sugar

2 cup (4.8 dl )water

12-14 lemons or enough lemons for 3 cups ( 7.4 dl) of fresh lemon juice

To serve : Still mineral or soda water and ice


Start by making a simple syrup.

Warm sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove, stir until the sugar has dissolved and incorporated into the water, set a side.

Squeeze the juice from the lemons, if you so desire you can strain the pulp from the juice or leave it in.

Combine the lemon juice and the simple syrup stirring to make sure they are full incorporated.

Fill a pitcher or glasses halfway  with ice cubes and lemonade concentrate.

Add either sparkling or still mineral water to dilute.

Server  immediately!