Wedding Picnic in Maremma, Tuscany

Date maggio 22, 2012


What happened behind those closed doors? Why is so calm and quiet by the pool? This was the proverbial calm before the storm.

Behind those quaint blue wooden doors there were 4 – at times 5 – people in trouble to prepare in a day and half a picnic wedding dinner for forty French guests in an agriturismo in Maremma. Well, agriturismo is quite reductive, the Fattoria la Capitana is a grand country manor house with a garden terrace overlooking the sea. This is fairly accurate as a description, now!

This is one of the many reasons that have kept me away from my blog for almost 2 weeks, along with other cooking classes, a few family matters that luckily resolved for the better and a light tiredness: have I ever told you how much I love sleeping in spring with a light duvet and the rain pouring outside?

So I decided to show you – as a small reward for your patience! – what we did in that little kitchen, with the help of Claudia, of a dear friend and of my amazing British photographers, Sarka and P. Sarka took all the pictures you see today, I was the one with the arms completely plunged up to her elbow to stir the spicy chickpea salad, just to clarify why you do not see me here…

So here some pictures of the weekend: I’m the first to enjoy them because during that days I didn’t set foot outside that quaint blue door but to breath once in a while some sea fresh air. I should have pictured that, as the kitchen is my favourite place during parties since I was a teenager… could this be the main reason of my acute spinsterhood?

On each table we placed a fresh appetizer of vegetables with pinzimonio (the typical antipasto with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) – I found that starting the meal with some fresh vegetables eases everyone’s conscience and predisposes them favorably to the upcoming courses! -, crisp radishes with toasted bread and cream cheese with herbs, kamut bread sticks with Tuscan ham and tomato bruschette.

The highlight of the wedding picnic were the club sandwiches, served with freshly made French fries (I followed Sigrid‘s recipe, and this not only impressed favourably the French guests, but gave also a nice touch of class and authenticity to the whole diner). Of course, the fries were served with ketchup and mayonnaise maison. With the club sandwiches I really enjoyed myself choosing the matches:

  • chicken cooked in a vegetable broth with mayo, tomatoes, and crisp bacon
  • roast beef, home-made herb butter, caramelized onions and blue cheese
  • smoked salmon, horseradish sour cream, cucumbers and valerian salad
  • extra virgin olive oil tuna, tomatoes, lettuce, roasted pepper sauce
Along with club sandwiches, we made two spelt and barley salads, a spicy chickpea salad with sweet onion from Tropea, chicken and peppers cous cous, deviled eggs with sun dried tomatoes and capers and savoury rice tartlets with black olives.

 

Then came the warm courses, so welcomed at the end of the picnic because of the expected and feared downpour: a chickpeas soup made in a massive pot half of my bathtub, served in small bowls with shrimp sauté in butter, and my beloved pappa al pomodoro. The classic recipe, a velvety and warm tomato bread soup, was served to guests into the Bormioli Quattro stagioni jars. An idea to impress also your guests at home, isn’t it?

A sweet ending to the wedding, the desserts, served in small portions perfect for a picnic: pannacotta with strawberries and kiwi, strawberry and lemon muffins, chocolate cupcakes and mini tarts with lemon curd and Italian meringue, as a wedding cake. I’ve never kneaded so much pastry dough in one time!

All of this turned real and had a happy ending just thanks to Claudia and my dear friend L., who helped me in the kitchen and made the days fly away lightly, thanks to Sarka, who not only took these fabulous photos (soon you’ll find complete coverage of the event on her blog) but also did a lot in the kitchen, and thanks to Carolina, the wedding planner I worked with to make this happen.

In the end, what’s left of my weekend, besides the memories of a great fish dinner on the beach as a reward for our working day, is the feeling that you can turn a romantic idea into reality, that working with friends is way more fun than working alone and that if I ever will marry, I’ll have for sure a picnic in the garden, guests warned…

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15 Responses to “Wedding Picnic in Maremma, Tuscany”

  1. Robbin said:

    I love the plate of radishes with greens in a bed of “dirt”!! :-)

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  2. Zita said:

    I didn’t tell you why I waited this post very much.

    One of my dream is to get married in Tuscany and I just realized that with this post my dream came nearly true! :) This is how I imagined my wedding and the food that will be served (more vegetarian options for us :)). This place looks stunning and I know now who to ask to make the food for the wedding! :)

    Excellent job, Giulia and Sarka!

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    Giulia Risposta:

    we’r waiting for you!

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  3. marcella said:

    yummy

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  4. Regula said:

    I’ve been looking forward to your first wedding picnic!!!
    It looks amazing Giulia! Just delicious!
    I’m sure one day a lovely (British) fellar will join you in the kitchen because he also likes it better in there than at the party!
    xxx

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    Giulia Risposta:

    I’ll be waiting for him in the kitchen! x

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  5. karin@yumandmore said:

    a wedding picnic on the Tuscan coast with honemade food! what could be more romantic or delicious? perfect!!
    i also agree with Regula. but where the heck is he hiding??
    xox
    karin

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  6. Rosa said:

    Fantastic! Everything looks ever so delicious. Perfect.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. Thyme (Sarah) said:

    Wowsers. This is a stunning wedding and the spread of food is just so beautiful. What strikes me first about it is it all seems so lovingly prepared. Usually wedding food here is catered in and has a beautiful but somewhat impersonal quality. Your spread look so thoughtful and homemade. I am so impressed!

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  8. Joan Nova said:

    Gorgeous setting and presentation of food (especially the radish and the pappa al pomodoro. Wish I was a guest.

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  9. Picnic Wedding in Maremma, Tuscany - informal wedding receptionTuscandream Blog said:

    [...] Visit our chef’s blog for more details on our picnic recipes Jul’s Kitchen [...]

  10. Mario Matassa said:

    Everything looks so delicious. I really love the idea of serving the pappa al pomodoro in the preserving jars!

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  11. Karen said:

    Beautiful! I could look at your photography all day long. Thanks for bringing us along to this beautiful wedding!

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  12. Tiina said:

    Amazing work and lovely ladies behind it all! xo

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  13. Sarah said:

    Wow! Fabulous menu and set up. Love the ideas.

    [Rispondi]

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