On Friday, coming back home from work, I stopped at the local farmer’s market, the one just opened a few minutes from my house, and I filled my recycled cotton bag with honey scented melons, the freshest garlic, crisp zucchini and small ruby red plums, sweet and juicy. The vegetables were still warm, freshly picked, lightly dusted with dark soil. They were so fresh and carefully grown that could have been the vegetables from my garden.
Once I got home, I could not wait one more day, I wanted to cook immediately the zucchini, firm to the touch and fragrant green. I wanted to use the fresh garlic as well. It was the first time I had found fresh garlic at the market: usually the smell of garlic cloves is acute and pervasive, but this time I was amazed, the cloves were lunar white, with a distinctive earthy tone, juicy and fragrant.
The Summer, now carefree dancing in the cornfields, suggested me a perfect recipe for my crisp zucchini: a sprig of fragrant oregano from the pot on the garden wall and a clove of fresh juicy garlic, to enhance and mark the flavours. Once again a simple dish, almost obvious, cooked in five minutes, styled and photographed in three. Yet this recipe won its place on the Monday morning post, the one that I usually study and refine the most.
So today I’m posting a side dish, a category rather absent on my blog. If a dish of juicy tomatoes seasoned with Maldon salt and apple cider vinegar can save more than a meal, it is also true that sometimes it’s important to make a change and turn the side dish into the true star of the meal!
- 5 medium zucchini
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig of fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon of dried oregano)
- Wash the zucchini and cut them into not too large cubes.
- Crush a clove of fresh garlic with the back of a knife, put it in a pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and let it infuse its flavour for a minute.
- Add the zucchini, the fresh oregano leaves, salt and pepper and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat without the lid, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It will take just 5 minutes to cook if the zucchini are fresh and tender, just like mine, otherwise you can cook them a 10 minutes more, if you prefer them more tneder or if they are not so fresh, adding a tablespoon of hot water. It's better to leave them slightly crisp and al dente, to enjoy their freshness.
- Serve the zucchini warm, sprinkled with some leaves of fresh oregano.
And now, the big news! I wanted to inform you that last week my very first book was published! It is called My Grandma’s Recipes – a year in my kitchen. I can hardly believe I’m writing these words, my-book, but apparently it’s all true! In the book you will find about eighty recipes, taken from the blog and organized by season, all accompanied by a photo. It is written in Italian and English. I will soon upload a page here with some more information. If you happen to be in Tuscany in these days and want to come and say hi, there will be two book launch events:
- Monday the 27th of June in Siena – 6.30 pm Bookshop at Palazzo Ravizza, Pian dei Mantellini, 34 (yes, this very evening!)
- Tuesday the 28th of June in Poggibonsi – 6.30 pm Libreria di Poggibonsi, Via Trento, 19.
The book is sold in Tuscany, Milan and Rome in bookshops and supermarkets. If you can not find it or do not live in these areas, you can also order it by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!