an Umbrian vegan cooking class :: San Francisco, March 24, 2017


I'll be in the Bay Area the end of March and am holding a vegan cooking class
with wonderful organic artisan products from my very recent trip to Umbria
We'll be stirring up into a scrumptious dinner from traditional Umbrian recipes
at the home of dear friends of mine in San Francisco
on Friday, March 24, 2017, 5:30 - 11:30 pm

The price is $145 per person
Our meal will be accompanied by a selection of "naked" natural wines from France
If you or a friend or friends are interested in joining the class
and/or for more information please contact me at :
lacucinaditerresa [at] gmail [dot] com
I'd love to have you join us!
There's still room for 5 participants...
To note :
- The meal we are cooking will be vegan but not gluten-free
- My friends do have a dog who resides gently in their home
- I do ask you bring your own apron, and if you like to "swill" while you're cooking
please bring along an extra bottle of vino  ,.))


umBria 2016 — daY oNe

siamo arrivati! the Umbrian hills. Paris far behind; kilometers of tires whistling 'n me heeding the signs. Cicerone and Missy just hunkering down for the long haul. appena arrivati, not a minute do they waste, taking up their old habits in much haste

"cicerone abandoned to his bliss"

"missy up along her watchtower"

as do I, gleaning near and far!

"as the gleaning went"

in need of something easy 'n tasty 'n nourishing, what better than some farinata? with the portulaca—purslane I glean straight out of the pumpkin patch out back. the stuff grows like a weed; here and there seems sadly to be considered a weed; thus, if in one's garden, is yanked and tossed as if a weed... when in fact, as far as things go around the stove, nothing could be further from the truth! let's just say portulaca's chocked full of goodness and ready to offer it to all 'n sundry, specially through the summer months : soup, salad, sautéed, wilted, puréed... you name it. and flowers 'n stems are most allowed


"lying low 'n crawling"

"farinata con portulaca e pomodoro"

so I head into the kitchen to make my farinata. I toss a few big handfuls of chick pea flour into a bowl. slowly slowly I add cold water, smack dab in the center, swirling the whisk, constant as it goes... all about keeping it smooth. then a final ecstatic whir to bring it all together. nice and liquid. I contemplate my batter for just a few minutes then skim off the dross that always rises to the top. now it's ready to take a nap for a good 5 hours. I cover it with a kitchen towel and set it somewhere quiet for its snooze. this gives me time to do some unpacking

I head back to the kitchen and wash my portulaca. leaf it, cut up the finer stems and drop it all into the chick pea batter. lots lots of good sea salt and a couple generous drizzles of good olive oil. stir stir stir. all the time letting the oven heat up to the max: 300 ˚C | 575 ˚F, if it'll go that high. I set my baking dish inside; was looking for one with a nice glass, ceramic or cast-iron bottom, but had to settle for a thinner coated one. oh well... can't always be choosy

I slice some cherry tomatoes in half. when my baking dish is nice and hot, I slide it out of the oven and generously coat the bottom 'n up along the sides with that same good olive oil. I give my batter a final stir then pour it right into the center of the dish—in one fell swoop—listening to it sizzle as it spreads out to the sides. I checker the top with my cherry tomatoes, give it another drizzle or two of olive oil then right back into the oven it goes to cook till getting nice 'n brown 'n crunchy all around

I pull it out pipping hot. the hard thing is letting it sit for 5 - 10 mins, 'cuz I'm kinda hungry. but I manage. then it's just to slice it up. give it many many a grind of black pepper—obligatory! maybe a sprinkle or two of good coarse sea salt and... ah!! sustenance to the belly it is ,.))

portions in grams, approx 1 chick pea flour : 3 cold water. should just lightly coat a wooden spoon and/or remind you of very melted ice cream

always try to keep the height of your farinata no more than a very slight 1 cm | 1/3 inch. so for example, for a 30-cm | 12-inch baking dish, a good generous 100 gr of chick pea flour

depending on how hot you can get your oven, it will cook from 10 - 25 minutes or more


food + travel writing retreat on French Riviera w/ terrESa's vegan fare

you're Invited: writing retreat on the French Riviera!
w/ vegan nourishment from lacucina di terrESa


Does your food blog taste bland and need a bit of zhuzhing-up to give it flavor? Have you fantasized about launching a sexy travel-writing career, but didn't know where to start? Do you yearn to become the next Isa Chandra Moskowitz, but don't know how or where to pitch your sizzling cookbook idea?

Writing is something many of us wish we could do well, but don't yet have the confidence or technical skills to get started and ultimately reach our potential. If you've ever dreamed of learning the craft of writing from the pros--and fueling your creativity with fab vegan food + wine--this is your chance to bring your dreams to life on the magical French Riviera.

At this 5-day getaway, you'll attend daily workshops dedicated to food + travel writing, plus the art of the edit, how to pitch, developing narrative style, and so much more. Gourmet vegan meals are prepared by a talented guest chef, freeing your time to focus on learning. putting your new skills into practice, relaxing poolside, and relishing the colorful Cote d'Azur.


UNDRESSING VEGETABLES : an unfolding book of recipes—summer PEPERONATA

Oh those lusty peppers... the ones C. Columbus, way back when, brought back from the New World. Seems he announced their discovery to Old Europe with words along the lines of: You could call them a food if it weren't for their strange, intense taste.

They were first regarded with much distrust on this side of the pond. But being a most generous vegetable that adapts well to different climates, Indian peppers, as they were first named for their peppery hotness, rapidly invaded the gardens of even the poorest.

In Italy, while the aristocracy was indulging on fatty meat stuffed with truffles and seasoned with generous amounts of cloves, saffron and cinnamon, the simple-the rural-the peasant folk—masters at making a virtue out of necessity—went about inventing a more "democratic" gastronomia, which still today forms a heritage of flavors.

As for peppers, the evidence is large. From Piedmont to Sicily, there's a plethora of—what else to say—sensual dishes created around peppers, from sottaceto up North to skinned alive in the South. In Piedmonte peppers with anchovies; peperonata and the hot-sauce peverade in Lombardia-Veneta; further south along the Tirreno served with salt cod; pan-fried with olives, capers and pine nuts in Naples; and further down the boot in Puglia—such a refined simplicity in its culinary culture!—its famed frigitelli [in France corne de boeufperhaps similarly called in the States those long thin green—and red—peppers] simply fried in olive oil. Not to mention i caponati of Sicily. My, my! And well... pizza with peppers, what's there to say?

All that said... finding a pepper that "carries the Earth—that the Earth carries" ain't so easy. I walk by many a stand, many a mound of peppers at marketplace and natural food store combined, searching for the deformed, the thin-skinned -fleshed -stemmed pepper, the unweighted, the field grown, the supple, the...... Inevitable that the peppers coming from Italy—still—carry all those traits. As do the Corne de boeuf, still mainly small-producer grown inn  France... till they become industry darlings—the death knell of any humble vegetable, of any true earth-filled, dirt-filled satiation.

Alright, enough of my lamenting and fulminating. Onward and forward... here's my favorite pepper dish: peperonata. Simple as can be, sumptuous as you could ever want. Enjoy!

By the way, much of the inspiration for the words above come also from a small book entitled : Si Fa Presto a Dire Cotto by Marino Niola.