venerdì 30 maggio 2014

Tuscan kale bruschetta

In Tuscany black kale is a warm symbol of home, of a family sitting together around dinner
table enjoying a good traditional meal with the distinctive flavor produced by its use.
Its presence in the region dates back long before the middle ages and is a typical traditional
main ingredient in many tuscan soups.
There is no tuscan farmer without some black kale plants in his garden that look like little palm
trees with their long dark green bluish leaves.
This vegetable belongs to the family of cabbages, but it doesn't grow with a “head” like most cabbages.
Here we describe one of the most popular recipes in Tuscany

Ingredients for 4 people

500 gr of black kale

8 slices of tuscan unsalted bread

4 tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 spoon of salt + some for dressing

2 liters of water

black pepper to taste

Clean the black kale cutting off and discarding the main hard stem of the leaves then chop them in large pieces. Bring to boil the water with 1 spoon of salt and then add the black kale and let it simmer until it becomes tender, set then all aside.

I the meantime toast the bread slices and rub their surface with halved garlic cloves, put the bread on a tray or large dish, sprinkle half of the olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Drain the still warm black kale saving some of its liquid and lay it on the bread slices with a little of its saved cooking water. Dress with the remaining olive oil, a little salt and freshly ground pepper, serve warm.

To learn directly how to prepare this recipe and many more join a cooking course when in tuscany,a specialized wine and food tour operator like Arianna & Friends can surely guarantee an interesting and enjoyable experience.

mercoledì 7 maggio 2014

Peccioli tuscan hilltop town where hospitality is the key

Peccioli in the Valdera area of the Pisa district of Tuscany, sits above the Era and Roglio river valleys with its gentle slopes covered by vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees.

In the 11th century it was an important fortress which was later strenghthened by 6 towers placed along the perimetral walls. Today some traces can be seen on 3 of the towers and the tower of Lampredi house in the western side of the town is all that is left of the ancient walls.
Retains the original structure the arched vault brick gate of Porta Carraia that lends its character to the same name street.

From the point where the fortress was once located, typical old fashioned little streets from there start their path with their arches and underpasses. On the western and eastern part of the town, long portions of the medieval pathways can be identified. But the main unmistakable feature of the town is the unique bell tower of the church of San Verano in Piazza del Popolo.

This church, originally built as a little chapel in the 11th century, was later enlarged and in the centuries partly redesigned, it keeps its picturesque Pisan and Romanesque façade and contains valuable work of arts.

Today Peccioli is a proud small rural tuscan town with its own local culture and traditions that the inhabitants are happy to share with any visitor that here is definitely welcome, and the best way to experience the warm hospitality of this place is to stay in one of the accomodations that the  Medieval village of Peccioli ” has to offer, an enthusiastic enterprise from Arianna & Friends local tour operator, that aims to give travellers to Peccioli an authentic feel of being part of a friendly and pleasant tuscan community.