Monday, 19 October 2009

Gorgonzola and chestnut bowl

I blinked and it was over. Summer is gone and its freezing as if it were January. In a panic I crave comfort in winter food- soups, stews, porridge and ice cream. Chestnut festivals are taking place across Tuscany, as is the chocolate festival in Perugia.

It turns that it is possible to becomes accustomed to medieval city centres, picturesque piazzas and magnificent rural settings. On the busiest day of the year Perugia is, well, extremely crowded. It’s a chocolate mayhem, and people are stocking up- dark, milk & white chocolate, bonbons, puddings, crepes and waffles, chocolate ‘shawarma’ and kebabs, chocolate salamis, churros, pasta, and I could go on. Half a banana dipped in dark chocolate, rolled in hazelnut croquante and skewed on a stick later, and I was out.

After escaping the crowds we spent the time left before the train was due in a Chinese shop by the station. My loot from the day of chocolate: two sachets of udon noodles soup, a Chinese pear and a moon cake baked in a Prato Chinese bakery (So many things are wrong with that sentence…).

The pear tasted as if it were trying to pass itself as an apple, and the moon cake had what seemed like an egg yolk in the centre. Traditionally it should be there, but the only ingredient on the list that could be it was a reference to pumpkin, so I’m going with that. Especially since the expiration date is in a couple of months…

This little salad, I thought it a salad, but it didnt seem right, having no vegetables in it, so it changed to a starter, but it would also work as a dessert (substitute olive oil, salt & pepper with a drizzle of honey and a caramelized fig), so I settled on 'bowl'. make it your own.

Gorgonzola & chestnut bowl

(Serves 2 as a starter)


250g Chestnuts

40g Gorgonzola (sweet or piquant)

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Cut an X into one side of the chestnuts.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and boil gently for 15-20 minutes.

The longer the nuts cook, the mealier the kernels become and tend to crumble when removed from the shells.

Peel the shells and the skin from the nuts.

Drizzle the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Crumble the Gorgonzola and add to the bowl.

Note: A glass of wine is almost compulsory.

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