Tomato Mania Starts Afresh

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Faith Willinger


To try Faith's recipe for tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad, click here.

I've been away from home, in California, for two weeks, and just came back to a delivery from my favorite farmers, the Innocenti brothers, featuring a new season of produce. In addition to beets, cucumbers, spring onions, zucchini with flowers, and basil, which were previously available, I was thrilled with new pears, apricots, tiny green beans, and a vine-ripened cantaloupe. But most exciting were the season's first Riccio Fiorentino tomatoes. Welcome back!

I made tomato sauce for spaghetti al pomodoro, something I always need when I get home. Grated the Parmigiano. With sliced zucchini (just-picked with female flowers attached) lengthwise into quarters and sautéed in extra virgin, boiled green beans (saved the water to cook pasta in), and boiled, peeled, and sliced beets. And made a tomato, cucumber, and onion salad. As usual, my husband, Massimo, made the spaghetti with my sauce, perfectly al dente. Here's the menu from my welcome home, welcome summer dinner. We drank Bucci Verdicchio.

    • Fettunta—Tuscan garlic bread
    • Spaghetti with tomato sauce, basil, and Parmigiano
    • Zucchini and her flowers, sautéed in extra virgin, topped with chopped basil
    • Tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad (recipe)
    • Green beans with extra virgin olive oil
    • Beets with Villa Manodori balsamico and extra virgin
    • Pecorino and pears
    • Apricots, served in a glass bowl of water

Recipe: Tomato, Cucumber, and Red Onion Salad

Recent cooking posts by Faith Willinger:
Cooking Zucchini, Whether Flower, Fruit, or Leaf
From Trash Pasta to Neapolitan Treasure
An Italian Salad for the Post-Passover Pantry
For Your Next Italian Appetizer, Use Leftovers

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Faith Willinger is a chef, author, and born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily. More

Faith Heller Willinger is a born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and was seduced by Italian regional cooking. Faith has spent more than 30 years searching for the best food and wine, as well as the world beyond the table from the Alps to Sicily. She has no regrets about mileage or calories. Faith was awarded the prestigious San Pellegrino award for outstanding work as an ambassador of Italian cooking. She lives full-time in Florence with her Tuscan husband, Massimo. Her son Max lives in Milan. She's the author of the bestselling (9th printing) guidebook Eating in Italy, the cookbook Red, White & Greens, and the narrative recipe book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. Faith teaches in her kitchen in Florence on Wednesdays, supplied with freshly picked produce from her favorite farmers. Check out her web site at www.faithwillinger.com.
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