During the year, my grandma would buy radishes and add the radish leaves to her salad. Because there weren’t too many radish leaves, we kids would fight over them. That’s why Grandma would buy a lot of radishes during the Christmas holidays and make this radish salad.
Italian Radish Salad
As you can see from the photo, it is very easy to make. Just wash the radish leaves and place them out on a serving platter. Top them with the sliced radishes and maybe sliced olives or a roasted pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
–Dina Di Maio
Posted in Italian
Zabaglione is an Italian custard made from only eggs, not eggs and milk.* It comes from the Piedmont area of Italy, but I’m claiming it for the Piedmont of North Carolina. Why, you may ask? Well, it is a staple dessert of the Waldensian people from Northwestern Italy who settled the town of Valdese, North Carolina, 125 years ago. In Valdese, it is known as zabaione. I have made it even more North Carolina by using Raleigh, North Carolina’s own Oak City Amaretto, instead of the traditional wine.
North Carolina Zabaglione
1 dozen egg yolks from pasteurized eggs
1/3 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons (1 shot) Oak City Amaretto
In the top of a double boiler (off the heat) whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Add the amaretto and continue whisking until frothy. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with water and bring to a simmer or slight boil. Put the top pot in the double boiler and whisk vigorously for 3-4 minutes until the mixture looks like a smooth custard. There is a risk that you could get scrambled eggs, so you want to whisk continuously and with a strong arm. Serve immediately or slightly warm in sherbet glasses. Serve with amaretti cookies.
*I have seen some recipes that use milk as well, but most of the traditional and older recipes do not.
–Dina M. Di Maio, author of Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People, available at Amazon.com
Posted in America, Dessert, History, Italian, Local, North Carolina
Tagged amaretti, amaretto, custard, eggs, Italian, Italy, North Carolina, Oak City Amaretto, pasteurized eggs, Piedmont, Raleigh, sabayon, Valdese, zabaglione, zabaione
UPDATE–Brioschi is back. It’s now owned by Neobourne Pharma LLP and you can purchase it online at http://www.brioschi.com/
Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY in celebration of my 1000th post!
I thought it would be appropriate to post this the day after Thanksgiving when everyone has an upset stomach. When Italians have an upset stomach, they call it agita. If one has agita, there is only one remedy for it–Brioschi, pronounced bree-uhsh-ki. (The bottle says Bree-os-kee, but my family pronounces sch like “shk” not “sk.”) When I was a kid, if my grandmother had agita, she’d take out that familiar fat blue bottle with the large red lettering. She’d sprinkle some strands of Brioschi onto a napkin for me. I’d eat it like it was a fizzy lemon candy. It is an effervescent antacid and you were supposed to add it to water like Alka Seltzer. But we would just eat it. Brioschi is over 100 years old, and the company that made it went into real estate and sold the business to an American company, Brioschi Pharmaceuticals, LLC. Last I saw, it was still being produced. However, one bottle is being sold online for $44-$199, so I’m thinking maybe the company is not selling it anymore. And the company website is offline and the Twitter hasn’t been updated in a year. I really hope they can continue to sell Brioschi because not only is it a product of nostalgia, it is also the most effective antacid my family has ever used.
Stecchino is one of those restaurants that has something for the whole family. Restaurants like this are good when you are dining with people who have different tastes. Some people like steak; some people like pasta; some people like seafood. Stecchino is an Italian and American bistro, and there’s a dish here for everyone. If you’re in Hell’s Kitchen and with a divergent group, this is a safe bet. (A cool thing you should check out while you’re here is a 3D scene in a box in the floor.)
For an appetizer, we got eggplant fries with porcini mayo dip. I’m not a fan of eggplant parmigiana, but I used to love to eat the fried eggplant that my mom set out on paper towels. Eggplant fries are a cool variation of fries.
What would an Italian restaurant be without clams?
Chopped salad is popular these. My friend got one.
My friend got a pasta dish.
Another friend of mine got penne with vodka sauce.
I got shrimp scampi with linguine. I thought they did skimp on the shrimp, and the pasta was almost sauceless.
Dessert tortufo was good.
I got a dessert sampler with bomboloni, Bailey’s Irish cream cheesecake and salted caramel ice cream. This was the highlight of the meal, the bomboloni and ice cream being my favorite.
Restaurant Row is usually not my first stop for restaurant choices, as it can be touristy with mediocre food. However, sometimes I’m in the mood for a touristy experience. La Rivista is a classic New York-style Italian restaurant with white tablecloths and waiters that create a romantic atmosphere. There’s a piano player that plays old songs like Broadway favorites and Frank Sinatra tunes. The night I was there, there was a large party who got in on the fun and sang to the music. The food is solid Italian with dishes from the different regions of Italy. It does lean more toward a Northern Italian menu.
With your meal, they give you parmesan cheese with balsamic vinegar.
My friend’s appetizer was a special of the night.
I got tomato and mozzarella salad.
For my entrée, I got a mushroom ravioli.
My friend got shrimp risotto.
The desserts are classic New York Italian restaurant desserts. My friend got the cheesecake.
I got chocolate cake.