IncuQIna reads your mind
We know you are not going to turn on the oven (or the fire) during these hot days of summer and neither do we! If you literally feel like you are melting and do not want the temperature of your house to increase of one single degree, this is the recipe for you!
Let’s prepare together a yummy and refreshing speciality from central Italy, perfect for lunch, either at home either for your lunchbox. Just get some old stale bread, not so difficult to be found in the cupboards of the kitchen, let it soak in water to soften it up and prepare a light dressing with fresh onions and tomatoes.
There is no doubt that to talk, write and blog about food is nowadays really fashionable. And no wonder if some dishes become way more “hip” than others. Surely you must have noticed how in the last couple of years restaurants specialized in serving burgers popped up like mushrooms after the rain in the forest. Nicely prepared with homemade bread, first quality meat original toppings, the burgers moved from being a low level fast-food dish to a gourmet treat.
And because we like fashion but we also love to re-interpret and re-invent it, today we share with you our own recipe of SUMMER VEGGIE BURGERS! Perfect for summer because full of seasonal vegetables, suitable for vegans, this versatile recipe is perfect for a lunch with friends, a barbecue on the terrace or just a quite evening staying in and watching a movie, like we did.
Some time ago our good friend (and incuQIna reader) Andy reached out to us with some questions (that we are here trying to answer) on Cacio e Pepe. For the ones not knowing this delight, it is a traditional pasta of the Roman tradition that traces back when the shepherds had to bring food along with them on the mountains. Aged sheep cheese (pecorino) could survive for long time in their bags, pepper helped to heat up the bodies, and dry pasta fills up the stomach and gives energy.
Despite its apparent simplicity, getting the sauce right is not so easy. The trick consists in mixing quickly the grated cheese and pepper with the hot pasta just drained (or better “picked up”) and a little bit of cooking water, which will result in a creamy, non-sticky, sent-from-heaven, tasty sauce.
Summer is just beginning with its bright evenings. You can feel the sweet smell of jasmine and see how the sky gets suddenly bigger, opening wider horizons.
The inspiration for the recipe of today comes from these first half of June and from the imminenent trip of Camilla to California. Let’s discover our personal version of a popular West Coast salad and see together what our Anna used for this recipe..
First, choose some crispy curly endive and ripe cherry tomatoes (we prefer datterini for their unique scent and flavor). These fresh ingredients are perfect allies to face the first hot days of the season, thanks to their ability to quench thirst and refresh the palate (i.e. for TCM purify the Heat).
Regarding the chicken, for starters we invite you to always purchase organic poultry as this ensures more reasonable farming conditions. We must then say that during summer, according to TCM, this kind of meat should be eaten in small amounts as it is warm in energy and can increase the Heat, especially of the Blood. And for this, we cook it with some fresh lemon juice that restores balance and adds freshness. The touch of chili, then, gives a bit of spicy taste that matches well the neutral and comforting flavour of avocado. Dip it into a “fake” but very tasty mayo-like sauce made with natural white yogurt and mustard and you’ll keep light for your bikini.
Good and easy, this recipe is just a small glimpse of the many incoming ideas that will be collected in a special travel notebook developed by our dear Camilla during her trip. Get ready for the first bite of California, such a distant and fascinating land that for someone can be a state of mind.
As you might have noticed from previous blog posts or following our Instagram feed, all the three of us have definitely left Barcelona, the city where we met and found the energy and the sprint to start our incuQIna project. We fell in love with this place and spent long days and nights exploring its hidden corners, eating in different restaurants, drinking in bars, chilling at cafes and shopping in many markets. It will always have a special place in our heart, and we want to share with you some of our favorite insider’s tips forfood-related spots around the city, taking you for virtual walks around different neighborhoods.
A square of Gracia, pictured in an artwork by our Francesca
We’ll start with the “barrio” we used to live in: Gracia! Even though we could be talking nonstop about places here, we made a small selection of bars, cafes, restaurants and spots linked to special memories. Please feel free to write to us if you have some other suggestions, comments or any questions!
The one and only ingredient that can never miss in the kitchen is curiosity.
Remember a few weeks ago in our “focus on food” post we talked about buckwheat? Today we are announcing the winning recipe that featuring this pseudo-cereal triangular in shape and unusual in taste.
The winner is a delicious appetizer that our friend Laura prepared for us during a nice Sunday lunch. We were immediately captured by her enthusiasm and by her sweet ways of approaching the cooking process and how she was justifying herself while taking out the ingredients from the bag: “this is the first time that I prepare them!” she went, smiling as usual. We thank Laura because she reminded us about how cooking is something as visceral as eating, an instinctive process that comes from a need but it’s expressed at its best when approached with curiosity.
Here comes the summer, and the usual bustle of village festivals that animates the weekend of our beautiful Italy.
Every place around the peninsula has its own culinary specialties and gluttonies, influenced by the local products, nature, climate. All our regional dishes come fromtraditions handed down by man and women who loved and knew how to farm, grow, take care and love their lands and territories.
Just this week our Anna was back in her “blue” Euganean hills, and the recipe that we propose to you today is therefore a spring dish from Veneto combining two ingredients typical of these areas: rice and peas.