My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello

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My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello

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A sumptuous escape to the sensual culinary flavors of the Italian countryside, with more than a hundred recipes for the home cook. In a wild, undiscovered corner of Tuscany called Maremma, boars roam the hillsides, olive trees stand like sentries, and fennel perfumes the air. This landscape yields its own cuisine—rustic dishes that let their seasonal ingredients shine through. There is no better place to learn the secrets of this cuisine than the Castello di Vicarello. This twelfth century fairy-tale castle is now an exclusive resort where the proprietor, Aurora Berti, prepares meals based on the garden. Here, Aurora presents the many recipes she has developed over the past decade by sharing with local peasant women and drawing from her own family’s traditions. Organized by season, this charming cookbook immerses the reader in the daily rhythms of the land. The dishes are accompanied by sidebars and photos that convey the story of this place: pruning the vineyards in winter, picking asparagus in spring, drying tomatoes for sauce in summer, and hunting porcini in fall. The recipes burst with flavor while remaining simple: black kale crostini, radicchio and walnut salad, carbonara with favas, roast pork with apples, peach crostata. My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello is the next best thing to taking a trip to this magical country.

“Damn good stuff comes out of this cucina.”–GQ

“Travel like royalty this season [at] southern Tuscany’s Castello di Vicarello.”–Vogue

“This castle is exactly where Rapunzel should be letting down her hair. It’s amazing–unusual and full of character.”–Tatler

“Heaven!” —The New York Times Travel Magazine

“If I have only one life to live, let me live a good part of it at the Castello di Vicarello.”–Richard David Story, editor-in-chief, Departures

“Castello di Vicarello offers some of the most spectacular food in Italy, thanks to Aurora Baccheschi Berti. Lovingly prepared with local ingredients, Aurora’s dishes succeed in transporting her guests to the perfect state of bliss.”–Julian Niccolini, Managing Partner, The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York

“We still talk about the fried zucchini flowers, and the dark cured ham made from boars reared on the estate. I quickly realized the only proper answer to ‘What would you like for lunch’ was ‘Whatever you would like to cook!'”–Ed Smith, The Times, London

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1 review for My Tuscan Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes from the Castello di Vicarello

  1. nancy1372 (verified owner)

    If you’ve ever wanted to take cooking classes in Italy, or hike the Tuscan countryside, you can do so at the Castello di Vicarello through this book. Beautifully presented in a nearly 300 page hardcover edition, “My Tuscan Kitchen” is filled with commentaries of culinary life at the castello, seasonal recipes, and luscious photos of the cuisine and landscape that’ll whet your appetite, inspire your inner chef, and have you picking mushrooms for an autumn zuppa di funghi.

    Somewhere between cucina povera and gourmet, family and formal, there’s rustic- both homey and upscale- and this book covers it all. Most ingredients are those with which we’re familiar, and even probably have on hand, but the few some of us might not be able to find locally- rabbit, pheasant, Vialone Nano rice- are easily substituted.

    For a quick and simple lunch, I made the stracciatella- broth with egg- substituting the meat stock with miso broth, and though I’ll cut the recipe down to suit my needs, I’m looking forward to making the sale aromatico. Used at the Castello di Vicarello to season meats, as a vegetarian I’m sure this will work well in hearty vegetable soups, warm winter potato salads, and in my own version of an olive oil/butter-sage sauce.

    From the antipasti to the dolci, believe me, when you get into this richly layered book there’ll be no mistaking where you are- smack-dab in the heart of Tuscany.

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