Monday, June 20, 2016

A summer lunch with friends in the Florentine hills

Florentine cookbook by Emiko Davies

The impromptu invitation to a summer lunch in the Florentine hills arrived a day before, in the form of a private cooking class hosted by cookbook author and blogger Emiko Davies at the magical Villa Medicea di Lilliano, a historical hunting lodge of the Medici family turned wine estate high in the hills overlooking Florence.

The occasion was the launch of Emiko's beautiful first cookbook Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence and she had invited food bloggers of the region to come together to cook some of the book's recipes in the villa's wonderfully rustic cucina - so together with Valeria Necchio {Life Love Food}, Irene Berni {Val di Rose}, Ilaria Gori {Tuscany Buzz}, Denya Pandolfi {Grazie A Te}and Nardia Plumridge {Lost In Florence} we explored the estate, its gardens and wine caves before joining forces in the beautiful kitchen to whip up a perfect summer menu ...

Florentine by Emiko DaviesVilla Medicea di Lilliano in FlorenceVilla Medicea di Lilliano Firenze Florence

the lunch menu.

~ crostini with lardo, honey and pepper  { recipe }
~ panzanella { tomato and bread salad }
~ ravioloni di pera e ricotta { pear and ricotta ravioloni }
~ bomboloncini { doughnut holes }

Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Florence
La Villa Medicea di Lilliano in FlorenceFlorentine by Emiko Davies
Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Florence
La Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Firenze
Florentine a cookbook by Emiko Davies
Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Florence
Florentine by Emiko Davies
Florentine cookbook by Emiko Davies

{ makes 4 crostini }

4 slices of baguette, about 1 cm (1/2 in) thick
16 very thin slices of lardo, about 60 g (2 oz)
120 g (4 1/2 oz) asiago or young pecorino cheese, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon runny honey
freshly ground black pepper

Toast the bread under a grill or in the oven lightly to dry it out and give it some crunch. Place the cheese on the warm bread and place under a grill briefly or until the cheese has melted. Top with the lardo in overlapping layers – the warmth of the melted cheese and hot bread should make the lardo warm and soften and become ever so slightly transparent around the edges. Drizzle over the honey and grind over some pepper.

Note: The next best substitute is pancetta, sliced paper-thin (this is important as otherwise it will be too salty).

{ recipe adapted from Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence by Emiko Davies,
published by Hardie Grant }

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