The Philadelphia International Flower Show has added many other activities aside from flower viewing. The culinary demos are held during the whole week of the show, and I attended on the first day, an Italian one. Sarah Fioroni has a family farm in Tuscany, and cooks with what is grown on her farm. Her recipes do not include too many herbs/spices because she likes to have the true flavor of the food shine through.
The demo was sponsored by Organic Gardening and we were given a sample of the magazine to read.
Sarah seemed like a really nice person, it was her birthday, so we had to sing a little song to her!
The importance of organic foods was discussed, and that sometimes you can find organic cheaper than the non-organic, you just have to shop wisely.
Below is one of the recipes she made for us:
Saffron Risotto With Spring Vegetables
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups diced zucchini
2 cup sliced fresh asparagus spears, woody ends discarded
Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 cups water
½ teaspoon saffron
4 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Heat the olive in a heavy-bottomed, 1 4 inch saute’ pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is wilted and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and asparagus, stirring to blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add ½ cup of the water as vegetables are cooking.
Combine 1 cup of the water with the vegetable broth and saffron in a heavy-bottomed, 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook to heat the broth mixture, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Stir the rice into the vegetable mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and saute’, stirring, for 1 minute, then add 1/3 of the vegetable broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until rice absorbs the broth. Add 1 cup of the water, and cook stirring until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth and water, alternately, cooking and stirring allowing the rice to absorb the liquid between each addition. When the rice becomes creamy, add the broth and water more sparingly, or the rice will become mushy. Cook until rice is creamy but still al dente’, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Stir in the butter and scatter a little parmesan cheese over the top, if deserved. (Don’t add too much of the cheese, or it will overpower the delicious taste of the saffron.)
Makes 8 Servings
Recipe by Sarah Fioroni, Poggio Alloro, Italy
Sarah's book can be purchased HERE when released March 31, 2012. I think this will be a great addition to my cookbook collection. The recipes are easy, using natural ingredients, and just plain good for you. Italian food is so popular in every country because it tastes so good. I really enjoyed the culinary demo, and will attend more in the future at the Philadelphia International Flower Show.
Today's Words of Wisdom: A House is not a Home unless Shared with Others
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