All posts tagged: Tuscany

Rack of Lamb, Cauliflower, and Green Bean Salad

I might not be able to eat solid foods for the next few days (thank you dental surgery), but that won’t stop be from writing about it.  Last night was my last big meal for the next few days so we were going to make something good. My choice was a rack of lamb; my dad took charge of the meat while I called the sides.  It was a very simple rack of lamb recipe; just rosemary, thyme, and garlic to flavour the rack. My creative side had a chance to take charge here.  First of all, I cut up three quarters of a cauliflower into small bits that I then mixed with a splash of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.  Placed evenly at the bottom of a baking dish, it went in the oven next to the lamb for about 20-25 minutes at around 400°.  The rest was for a purée which I will explain shortly. Next was to make a green bean salad.  The green beans were cooked in boiling water for …

The Palio!

Since I last wrote things in Siena have been nuts, of course all induced by the famous Palio that takes places twice a year.  A tradition stemming from medieval times, the Palio di Siena consists of a grueling horse race around the Piazza del Campo where 10 of the 17 contradas (neighbourhoods) take part.  The only comparison I can give to those who haven’t witnessed the Palio would be to like winning the Stanley Cup (sorry Toronto, I know it’s very hard to imagine).  The people of Siena dress up in traditional clothing and spend countless night’s prepping and celebrating the coming event.  Having been stopped multiple times in the street myself, the various parades of horses, jockeys, and other contrada members halt traffic in any direction and will go at any length (including violently throwing children out of the way, I’m fully serious) to keep their front runners free of any interceptions.  On Friday I was stopped around the piazza by this parade which included a bull-drawn carriage that was bringing up the rear …

A foodie’s paradise in Montalcino

Although this week didn’t consist of any big travels, we had one of the best experiences I could have asked for.  With our class we visited Montalcino to visit a particular contemporary art instsallation, but luckily for us, our professor knew a restaurant that could make us a lunch to go along with the trip.  Along with a Brunello from the area, we had a lunch you wouldn’t believe! I won’t go into detail with the wine (to be honest, it definitely wasn’t a top Brunello) but the lunch really set the bar high!  To start, we had some of the classics.  A tomato bruschetta, as well as three other variations; these were mushroom and garlic, tartufo, and black olive.  My personal favourites were the latter two.  I had never had truffles before this trip, they were only rumours to me, so I was definitely up for a try.  It was without a doubt one of the richest and deepest flavours of mushroom, yet not overpowering.  The smooth texture of the tartufo was only a …

My travels so far…

I left for Paris almost two weeks ago, excited as ever to revisit my favourite city.  I had restaurants, sites, and museums all planned out in order to make my short visit worthwhile, and was it ever! Although interspersed with tons of tourist destinations, I tried to do more exploring of the city in parts I hadn’t before to get a better sense of the feeling beyond the thousands of tourists.  Of course on my list of to-do’s in Paris were some of the must-sees of the foodie world including Café de Flore and Ladurée.  I’d had French bistro and macarons many times before, but I needed to try out what people consider to be the originals, the classics.  The salad I had at Café de Flore blew me right over! The Salade de Flore had a perfectly creamy dressing with ham and emmantal cheese. Very simple, but the combination was perfect.  I was worried about the creaminess with the cheese and all, but I figured I should trust the masters.  It was one of …