I recently returned from my first trip to my ancestor’s homeland, Italy. I wanted to go to Italy for one reason and one reason only- the food!
Everything in Europe is so different than here in the U.S. but the food is truly a unique experience. Meals are created around fresh, seasonal ingredients not by what is on sale in the frozen food section. Although I am sure they exist, I could not even find a frozen department in any of the food markets I stopped into! The flavors are simple and beautiful and delicious. It was important for me to remember that sometimes the best meals come from the fewest, freshest ingredients.
Since my return home, I have been cooking with that approach of Italian simplicity. You must let your main ingredient shine through rather than be covered in other flavors. You need to make sure the flavors stand alone and usually all it takes is some EVOO, salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice or pinch of red pepper flakes or perhaps even just some honey. With those ingredients you have fresh made dressings, marinades, sauces, dips…whatever you need! And always remember…
Cook with love.
Cook with simplicity.