Contorni

Contorni

By
Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi
Contains
13 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781784880514

Any well-travelled vegetarian will tell you Sicily offers no problems for the plant-based eater. So many interesting dishes are constructed purely from vegetables.

As necessity is the mother of invention, the poor, during Sicily’s centuries of poverty, would use vegetables to imitate the dishes of the rich: aubergines (eggplants) were thinly sliced to emulate veal escalopes or fillets of fish, and pumpkin used instead of liver. Freely gathered herbs such as wild fennel are used abundantly in the Sicilian kitchen. The seeds from its yellow blooms are dried to use in winter, along with tiny oregano leaves and their intricate flowers. Wild leaves like chard, rocket (arugula) and chicory have traditionally been gathered by foragers and you can still see people doing this for their own purposes or to sell at a market.

Angelo, the chef-patron at La Grotta restaurant in Scicli, told us that the local shepherds would be away for a week at a time looking after their sheep. They would take a satchel of bread (after a week you could still eat it), onions and cheese, and perhaps supplement these with local wild leaves and herbs along the way. How simple and most likely wonderful to eat.

Having written our book Around the World in Salads you might say I have become a bit obsessed with salad. There are times when I just yearn for raw, fresh, crisp leaves and lots of vegetables. Since Giancarlo and our son Giorgio can no longer have gluten in their diets, eating more vegetables has changed the way we live and eat.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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