Monday, 21 March 2016

A taste of Sicily in Switzerland ......... oranges, chillies and a red onion

Varese, 2016
Now the great thing about holidays is that you come back with a shed load of fresh experiences, a clutch of photographs and above all some new recipes.

And so it was this time.

We usually try to visit the family in Italy at Easter.  This year it was a little earlier and for a full week we sat back and enjoyed Rosa’s cooking.*

She comes from Naples and so much of what we eat consists of vegetables, some roasted others fried and the rest eaten raw in salads and of course lots of pasta.

Occasionally she will offer up something from the north which tends to be heavier, relies more on butter than olive oil and of these my favourite is Pizzoccheri della Valtellina, which is a mix of pasta, potatoes, savoy cabbage and spinach and three types of cheese.**

And for someone brought up on school cabbage Pizzoccheri della Valtellina is a revelation.

This time there was one new dish which comes not from the north or Naples but from Sicily.

Two oranges three cillies one onion & balsamic vinegar
On Thursday we had crossed over into Switzerland to stay the night with Tina’s sister and that evening Rosario offered up a mix of food including a salad of sliced oranges, red onion and chillies in a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a touch of wine vinegar and oregano.

It was a perfect accompaniment to the green salad, polenta and potatoes served with onions.

I have yet to have a go at making it but it shouldn’t be difficult and in time I think will come one of those standard dishes trotted out all the year round but particularly in high summer.

Location; Sicily & Switzerland

Pictures; Varese and the ingredients for the salad, 2016 from the collection of Andrew Simpson

*Rosa’s cooking,

**Gnocchi di patata, Pizzoccheri della Valtellina, and a lesson in the geography of Italy,

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