We're back in Canada now, visiting family in Ontario, but over the next few days I'll catch you up on our final days in Italy.Our apartment in Rome was just a few steps from Campo di Fiori, home to a compact and colourful collection of market stalls six days a week. Because we had a fairly fully-equipped kitchen in the apartment, I couldn’t resist stocking up on some of the best ingredients of the season and making our group of happy ‘campers’ a farewell dinner.
Crossing the street to the Campo in the morning included a pass-by from a guy carrying a whole box of zucchini flowers, so that was a good reminder to put them on the shopping list. In the square, early in the morning, vendors are trimming beans, putting together pre-mixed salads, even a mix of braising vegetables and beans for minestrone. At one stall I bought some gleaming purple artichokes, a bag of freshly shelled peas and a fragrant bunch of mint. The vendor started singing about mint when I asked for it. Secretly I think he was singing because I decided to take the whole bag of shelled peas without asking how much they cost: 15 Euros! Ah well, I cooked them with garlic and prosciutto and tiny chunks of wild boar salami and they were great.
The zucchini flowers were stuffed with cheese, then dipped in egg and rolled in herbed bread crumbs mixed with parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Fried in olive oil until brown and crisp and oozing cheese, they were a hit. The artichokes were trimmed, then braised in white wine and vegetable stock and mint until tender. I also quick fried some thin pork chops and made a sweet-sour sauce with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Throw in one green salad with scrumptious cherry tomatoes and we had a fine meal. Dessert? We didn’t need any…looking at our window at the sights and sounds of our Piazza was good enough. We said goodbye to Rome that night and packed up for our assault on Umbria the next day.
Pic of the day: This one is for all of my friends who said they were going to join us at the apartment in Rome to help us celebrate our fifth anniversary and then for one reason or another never showed up. Ramona is luxuriating on one of the white leather couches in our spacious accommodation, right on Piazza Navona. This could have been yours, too!