Tag Archives: risotto

Down by the monastery for Lavello Street Food Festival

Bobson at Santa Maria del Lavello monastery

Food trucks at a villa, now this monastery (I like how they decked out the bell tower in lights) – what’s next? Well, I thought we had had enough of roaming kitchens, but the trend is riding a wave of popularity and spreading out to smaller communities like Calolziocorte. That’s less than 6 miles from ours, so of course, staying home was simply out of the question!

1. Gnocchi di bosco by Bobson. Potato dumplings smothered in a tasty berry reduction and melted gorgonzola. Pair fruit and cheese with anything and I’m hooked. This truck has been on my radar ever since I spotted this dish.

2. French Kiss by Basulon. Gimme some tongue, baby! Boiled beef tongue (lingua) and salsa verde tucked in a bun. It’s quite the delicacy (after tripe and brains) but this is the first time seeing it on a food truck menu.

3. Saffron risotto with licorice powder by ZafferanoInStrada. We could’ve gone with plain saffron or saffron with gorgonzola, but this was too intriguing to pass up. The licorice didn’t overwhelm the saffron flavor at all, but it’s definitely for gourmet palates.

They also sell saffron beer, saffron desserts, and work out of a cute teal-colored truck.

4. Arepa “Caracas” by El Caminante. Venezuelan in origin, arepas is a great example of how accessible ethnic cuisine becomes when it takes to the road. The unleavened flatbread buns (made with ground maize) are the perfect vehicle for whatever stuffs your fancy. This one has chicken cooked sous-vide, avocado, mayo, mustard and lime.

5. Mister Brown by Urban Fish. Grilled swordfish, thin slice of fried eggplant, and salsa verde between rye bread. Not sure of the reason behind the name? 🤔

Polynesian paralysis set in pretty quick afterwards so we called it quits (cold beer on tap for only 4€ will do that to you!) but not without dessert to go. Pistachio and chocolate eclairs by local pastry shop Pasticceria Corti. Wow. I should’ve gotten some for breakfast the next day.


The Floating Piers: buon appetito!

The reality after crossing The Floating Piers: you’re hot, thirsty, and utterly exhausted from the sweltering conditions – what’s next? There was no shortage of places to grab a sandwich and a cold drink, but what we had in mind was someplace away from the crowds and worthy of commemorating our anniversary and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s monumental land, or rather lake, art. I did my homework ahead of time and instinctively knew that the Menu del Territorio (35€/pp, cover, water, coffee incl.) at Dispensa Pani e Vini was going to make us ooh and aah over each course. Imagine our delight when presented with this beauty.

Sulzano a Montisola – trout tartare in a pool of goat milk yogurt, garnished with smoked trout roe, olive oil from Montisola, sardine crumble and a wafer-thin strip (corn?) that represents the piers. Brilliantly put together and I want to recreate this at home.

Risotto al pomo d’oro – yellow tomatoes from Vesuvio in a creamy risotto, topped with dollops of luscious burrata “innards”, crunchy bits of olives, and marjoram. Beautiful combination of color, flavor, and texture.

Manzo all’olio – in english, beef in oil doesn’t sound all that appetizing but it is thee best new thing I learned about traditional Brescian cuisine (the first being bagòss). This was melt-in-your-mouth soft that my knife literally fell right through it.

Tiramisù – as ubiquitous as it is, I found it cute that you could literally “pick up” your cup to bring a spoonful of tiramisù to your mouth.

Melon soup with mozzarella mousse – I’m going backwards with this but I can’t leave out the complimentary amuse-bouche at the start of the meal. I don’t think you could ever go wrong with fruit/cheese pairings no matter what form they’re presented in, and the sweet element of the melon was complemented with salty bits of crispy pancetta.

Dispensa Pani e Vini
Via Principe Umberto, 23
Torbiato, Adro BS

Cracking eggs for an italo-romanian Easter

In our home the traditional Easter lunch has always come and gone without too much fuss, but lucky for us this year, my father-in-law’s caregiver added a special touch to Sunday’s meal. Rosie hails from Romania and it was inevitable that she would include some of her country’s traditions, like these deep red (such a symbolic color, no?) hard-boiled eggs. The egg wraps aren’t anything like I’ve used back in the states but in any case, coloring eggs isn’t an italian custom so it was a delight to admire these all sitting prettily on a plate.

It might be said that too many cooks spoil the broth but our collaborative efforts didn’t give much credence to the old saying. It takes a little planning is all! We did the first course while Rosie took care of the rest, and I’m happy to say that we spared the sacrificial lamb this year. We will eat that lamb when it gets big and fat!

Spring’s first asparagus are beginning to appear in markets which is always a welcome sign. MotH prepared a creamy risotto while I poached eggs and popped open a jar of lumpfish caviar. We are spoiled, no?

Rosie prepared mici (seasoned meat rolls) and sarmale (meat and rice-stuffed cabbage rolls). It amazes me at how many ways there are on stuffing cabbage leaves. Her husband told us that sarmale is even better with an added dollop of thick cream on top, which is precisely what he did while I looked on with big, greedy eyeballs.

Now here I’ve rattled off what we all prepared, but before sitting down to our italo-romanian table, Rosie showed us an Easter game played in her homeland. While one person smacks a hard-boiled egg end-to-end with another player’s egg, he must say Hristos a înviat! (Christ is risen!). The other player then replies Adevarat a înviat! (Truly He is Risen!). The loser is the one whose egg gets cracked, and the winner goes on to challenge another person. I wish we had this game while growing up. I made a quick video (with subs) in which my father-in-law does not get the pronunciation quite right as he was anxious to get on with the main feast!