Italy – Basil, Tomatoes and Wine

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Italy, travelling from Rome to Florence and then to La Spezia.  The sights, the history and the views are all amazing but, of course, the food and gardens took a lot of my attention.  I was thrilled to see many homes grow their own herbs and veggies.  From small pots on the tiniest of balconies, to bigger pots and beds in their gardens and full allotments for some.

What is left over from everyday eating is preserved. I even saw tomatoes drying on a clothes rack– a much better use than for drying clothes!

It seemed that wherever we went, there were herbs and tomatoes.  And, oh yes, don’t let me forget the grape vines!  We were fortunate to spend time with family who have an allotment where they grow veggies, fruits, herbs and lots of grapes. We ate the most amazing pesto with home-made pasta, delicious salads, and drank fabulous home-made and, totally organic, wine.

Basil is coming into season now and it is so easy to make pesto. Traditionally it is made with pine-nuts, but as they are expensive, I substitute them with cashews or macadamia.

Whilst we were in La Spezia the wild mushroom season started.  Sandro went out on a 5 Hour (!!) mushroom collecting expedition and we joined the mushroom feast with the family. I’ll tell you all about that next week.




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