Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cooking in Florence - antipasto pizza artichokes

One of the main reasons for wanting an apartment in Florence was so that I could cook with all those wonderful Italian ingredients.  As it turned out there were many reasons having an apartment it was better than a hotel, and I got a stinking cold as I arrived which meant I could not taste or smell almost the entire time.  This took some of the pleasure out of cooking (and eating too I am afraid).  Never the less cook we would.

There was a supermarket just around the corner from our apartment and hunting and gathering there was a treat.

Wonderful looking artichokes in the market
The first day that we went I saw these artichokes and I had to cook them.  I cooked them my favourite way  served in a light lemony vinaigrette.

Artichoke hearts
There was of course an abundance of antipasto fixings, hams, salamis and cheeses.  So it was easy to put out platters of these and nibble as we had our pre dinner prosseco.

One the most beautiful cheeses we found was a very soft buffalo mozzarella, I can speak to the look and texture, not necessarily the taste due to my ever increasing cold, but my friends tell me it was wonderful

We just broke it apart and sprinkled olive oil, salt and pepper.

We also bought some olives and these puff pastry straws which were also a big hit.

There was some foccacia bread dough that came rolled up in the refrigerator, so we thought it would be good for creating our own pizza.

We just rolled it out and placed some pre-grilled zucchini that we had bought, and some of the mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil.  After a short time in the oven we served it with some arugula on top and a drizzle of olive oil.

The dough had a good texture again I relied on others for the taste, but was certainly an easy, and I am told delicious meal.

Another night we found some very ripe melon and wrapped that in a prosciutto as part of our antipasto platter, this not only looked beautiful but it tasted wonderful (so I am told).  Those Italians know what they are doing when it comes to food.

Any way I am going back again, and I will eat everything I ate this time, but next time I will be able to taste it.

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