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BakedOnion

Baked Onions with Sausage

My grandfather Vincenzo was a baked onion aficionado.  He just loved baked onions. It’s one of the things I remember most about his eating habits. They didn’t seem too appetizing as a kid, but later in life I came to realize what I was missing.  Onions are surprisingly sweet when baked.  These onions are fabulous […]

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Braised Baby Artichokes

Braised Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes are usually available in the springtime.  So, I was surprised to see them in the supermarket this time of year.  Baby artichokes are tender and delicious when braised.  The word affucati (affogati in Italian) in the Sicilian language means smothered or braised.  This is a simple braised artichoke recipe that my grandmother made. […]

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Cardoon

Fried Breaded Cardoon

While grocery shopping the other day I was fortunate to come across some cardoons (carduna in the Sicilian dialect, cardi or cardone in Italian), which is a rare occurrence since there isn’t a significant Italian population where I live.  The cardoon is a valued vegetable not only to the Italians and French but also to […]

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Sicilian Vegetable Stew:  Canazzu

Sicilian Vegetable Stew: Canazzu

Canazzu, or canazzo, is a flavorful mélange of stewed vegetables consisting mainly of eggplant, much like caponata.  This rustic Mediterranean dish is similar to the southern Italian ciambotta, the French ratatouille, and the Spanish pisto.  The word canazzu means ugly dog and the name implies a dish that is thrown together quickly and looks rather […]

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Artichoke Gratinata

Artichoke Gratinata

I found some baby artichokes at my local supermarket yesterday, most likely the last of the season.  I was hoping to also find some fresh fava beans and peas to make a frittedda – a Sicilian mélange of artichokes, favas, and peas.  No luck on the favas and peas so I decided to make the […]

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Potatoes Pizzaiola:  Patate alla Pizzaiola

Potatoes Pizzaiola: Patate alla Pizzaiola

Who doesn’t love fried potatoes?  Pizzaiola means pizza style, or in this case Sicilian style pizza.  This dish is made with fried potatoes which are layered, smothered in marinara sauce topped with oregano and grated cheese, and then the whole concoction is baked.  It’s kind of like a potato lasagna.  Just in case you’re wondering where […]

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Milinciani Ammuttunate

Stuffed Baby Eggplants in Tomato Sauce

The humble eggplant, to the Sicilian cook, is like clay to a sculptor.  It can be molded, shaped, and interpreted in limitless ways.  Baby eggplants are cooked many different ways in Sicily but stuffing them is the most popular method.  Much to my surprise, my local grocery store had some Indian eggplants available, which is a […]

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Stuffed Eggplant Rolls:  Involtini di Melanzana

Stuffed Eggplant Rolls: Involtini di Melanzana

Involtini are small stuffed roll-ups made with either thinly sliced meats or vegetables.  These involtini are made using thinly sliced roasted eggplant (milinciana in the Sicilian dialect), filled with a flavorful browned bread crumb (muddica atturata) mixture, and baked in tomato sauce.  This delicious traditional filling is made with toasted bread crumbs, shallots, Percorino cheese, […]

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Sicilian Style Cauliflower

Sicilian Style Cauliflower

Currants and pignoli or pine nuts feature prominently in Sicilian cuisine.  The two ingredients are simultaneously used in many dishes.  Currants add just a touch of sweetness to any dish; and pine nuts add a little crunch.  In this dish the cauliflower is parboiled and sautéed with currants and pine nuts and topped with toasted […]

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Wilted Escarole with Black Olives and Capers

Wilted Escarole with Black Olives and Capers

Consuming greens or green leafy vegetables is undisputedly beneficial to your health.  Italians love greens (verdura), especially bitter greens like escarole (scarola), chicory, and curly endive.  I ate greens frequently as a child.  My parents extolled the virtue of eating greens, claiming that they purified the blood and were good for digestion.  When I was […]

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