Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Luca’s Seasonal Journey: Italian cooking at its best

Luca’s Seasonal Journey: Italian cooking at its best
By Luca Ciano
Published by New Holland
ISBN: 9781742577722
Hardback, $49.99

Italian food is all about simple, fresh and seasonal choices. Growing up in Italy with the four seasons affecting his family’s eating habits, it made perfect sense for multi-award winning international chef Luca Ciano to apply these rules in his first cookbook.

Each season is such a special time of the year for life and food, and in this beautifully photographed book, the chapters are divided into Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, with each having a personal narrative from Luca describing specific memories of why that season is so special to him.

It has always been essential for Luca to think of specific food, ingredients and a cooking style applicable to every season, which is why in Luca’s Seasonal Journey the ingredients are the stars, with the delicious traditional Italian recipes working around them.

About the author:
Born and raised in Milan, Luca Ciano inherited his passion for food from his family, starting his cooking journey with his mother and grandma when he was just eight. His career includes the famous 2 Michelin-starred restaurant ‘Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia’ in Milan, as well as London’s Millennium Gloucester Hotel and Relais & Chateaux in Bermuda. In 2012 The Professional Italian Chef Association (APCI) awarded him ‘Les Toques Blanches D’honneur’ – an Honorary Professional Career Award. Despite having lived away from home for almost 20 years, Luca retains a strong link to Italy and its cuisine. He currently consults for restaurants, magazines and Italians brands in Australia and around the world.

Honey roasted figs and prosciutto
Bruschetta with burrata
Bruschetta con fichi e miele al forno, prosciutto e burrata

Serves 4 • Prep 10 mins • Cook 15 mins

8 fresh figs, cut into quarters
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

30g mixed salad leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (for salad)
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
10g walnuts, toasted
8 ciabatta bread slices, 1cm thickness, toasted
1 burrata (125g) torn or buffalo mozzarella (100–120g), 1 cm diced
4 prosciutto di Parma slices (minimum 18 months old if possible)
4 crushed walnuts, to garnish

1. Preheat oven at 200°C.
2. Place figs skin side down on a greased roasting tray. Sprinkle with honey and a drizzle with olive oil and cook for 6–8 minutes. Remove from oven and place figs on a plate.
3. In a bowl, mix the salad leaves with oil, vinegar and walnuts (save a few for garnish) and season to taste.
4. Place slices of grilled ciabatta on a plate. Add a little salad, figs, burrata and finally the prosciutto.
5. Add a drizzle of olive oil some cracked pepper, a sprinkling of walnuts
and serve.

Burrata is a famous fresh cheese from the region of Puglia made from mozzarella and fresh cream. Best eaten within 24 hours.

Recipe extracted with permission from Luca’s Seasonal Journey by Luca Ciano, published by New Holland.

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