Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
Looking at the surrounding pristine countryside of Sicily from the belvedere in Enna gives one a sense of why this city was envied for its invincible location high atop a mountain perch. On Enna's street corners are peddlers with cartfuls of broccolo (cauliflower) for purchase. Long as a baseball bat, zucchine lunge (long zucchini) is available too, as are creamy white, tight heads of Belgian endive.
The Ennese make a wonderful salad using endive, pomegranate seeds, and blood orange segments. The pomegranates and oranges are very refreshing with a sweet-tart flavor. Since pomegranates are not available year-round, I buy them in season, extract the seeds, and freeze them. That way I can enjoy the salad all year long; it is particularly attractive at Christmastime. If you cannot find blood oranges, use navel oranges instead.
1/2 pound (about 4 small) Belgian endive, washed
1 rib celery, washed and cut into thin slices
6 Cerigonola olives in brine, pitted and cut into slices
2 blood or navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 tablespoon capers in salt, rinsed and diced (optional)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Cut the endive in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half and separate the leaves from the stem. Place the leaves in a salad bowl and add the celery, olives, oranges, and capers (if used).
To prepare the dressing, in a bowl whisk the lemon juice, salt, and sugar together. Slowly pour the olive oil into the lemon mixture, whisking until the mixture thickens a bit and is smooth.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and serve.