As you know, I’ve moved to Italy for 3 months, trying to sort out my head, my life and yes even my dinners, after Steve’s passing. My support system of friends here is totally amazing, but my whole life has changed. I so miss Steve.
In Italy, dinner is eaten usually not any earlier than 8:30 pm, which is actually about the time we used to eat in NYC but it’s different now, not coming home from an office and with the time change, 9 am in New York is 3 pm here. It is kinda cool that I have all that time in the morning to myself but then I can work until midnight because it’s only 6 pm there, and that is not healthy, I know.
So lately, I’ve been eating bigger lunches – pasta, at that time, if I want it, – and then a salad or just vegetables for dinner. Often I’ll meet one of my friends for an aperitivo (cocktail) in town at 7 or so and then come home to make a light healthy dinner, eat, check in with the office and do some more work.
I don’t know what we have done to our food supply chain in the US. Here, everything is so darn flavorful and DELICIOUS! For example, sauteed escarole, just simple with olive oil, salt and pepper, is divine!! In the States, we used to buy our vegetables from organic farmers, but even those veggies cannot compare to the ones here. I think we’ve ruined our food system forever in the U.S.
So one evening, I made the dish below, roasting cauliflower and yellow peppers, then throwing in tomatoes at the end, letting the warm combination sit on cool baby arugula (that still tastes peppery here), basil leaves and some avocado to add some creaminess. The prosciutto adds big flavor and protein. Serve this with a slice of bread, some great olive oil and you’ve got a fantastic dinner!!
ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH PROSCIUTTO – serves 2
2 small handfuls of arugula
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ head of cauliflower, cut in small flowerets
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1/3” strips and then cut each strip in half
6 thin slices of prosciutto, trimmed of fat, cut into 1/4” strips
1.5 Tbs. olive oil
Pepper, fresh ground
12 large basil leaves
1 small avocado, halved, and each half cut into strips
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cauliflower and yellow pepper with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and roast for about 12 minutes on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Then add the tomatoes and toss all to combine. Roast for 10 more minutes until all is tender and wonderful. Lightly salt again now, if you wish.
Place a small handful of arugula on each plate. Tear up 4 basil leaves and scatter on top of each plate of arugula. Arrange the half of the avocado on each plate, in a circle.
Scatter ½ of the prosciutto slices on top of the avocado and mound ½ of the roasted cauliflower, yellow pepper and tomatoes on top.
Tear up the rest of the basil leaves and sprinkle around on top, leaving one or two leaves as an accent.
Serve with LOVE and bread, if you’d like. Total delish!!
Thanksgiving is coming this week (and so is my birthday) the first of many firsts without my honey, Steve. I am so, so sad. Not much to do to relieve the sadness. I just cry a lot.
But that is not for you. Here is my Thanksgiving book for any of you who need it.
I will be hosting this Thanksgiving on the Saturday after – on the 25th – at my friends, Tiziana and Andrea’s house as they have a table big enough to seat 14 people. Our younger son, Zach and his wife, Agata, will be flying in from Poland. Our older son and his wife, Kate will spend it with my brother and sister-in-law and their family in Connecticut.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to you all. Sending lots of LOVE and great food!!