Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Mexican Squash Blossom Soup

Recently I sampled artisanal mescal, cicciarones-filled gorditas and flautas with hibiscus flowers in Mexico City. All memorable. But back home what I couldn’t wait to make was squash blossom soup. Actually that was just one of several superb soups I tasted in this great city. At the Hilton Mexico City Reforma‘s terrace restaurant, our waiter [...]

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Fri, February 6 2015 » Fruits and Vegetables, Italian ingredients, Soups and Stews, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

Sicilian Tuna, Potato & Caper Salad

The holidays are here, bringing a parade of delicious but rich party nibbles. If you’re like me, sometimes you have to step back and just have a salad for dinner.  This one satisfies the yen for fresh greens and vegetables, but the tuna and potatoes add heft, turning what would otherwise be a side salad [...]

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Thu, December 18 2014 » Italian food, Italian ingredients, salads, Seafood, Sicily, Tampa Bay, travel, Uncategorized » 1 Comment

What to Do with that Panettone

This is the time of year when Italian delis and e-commerce sites showcase those imposingly tall boxes, each one housing the dome-shaped sweet Christmas bread called panettone. There’s a good chance you’ll receive a panettone as a gift or, beguiled by the sheer size of the box, sweep one into your shopping cart. Then what? [...]

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Fri, December 12 2014 » Baked Goods and Sweets, holiday foods, Italian delis, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

Zucchini Stuffed with Farro and Goat Cheese

Stuffed vegetables don’t show up much in restaurants, here or in Italy. But turn the pages of a cookbook or food magazine meant for home cooks and it becomes clear that Italians will stuff just about anything. Bell peppers, tomatoes,  eggplant, artichokes and squash (including patty pans and zucchini) are seeded, scooped or otherwise emptied [...]

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Mon, October 27 2014 » Fruits and Vegetables, Grains, Italian ingredients, Uncategorized » No Comments

Chickpea “Pizza” with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

My favorite dish during a four-day stay in Vancouver:  a crisp chickpea-flour flatbread topped with sautéed local chanterelles, buffalo mozzarella and luscious heirloom tomatoes. The chef of Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill, Pino Posteraro, was looking to do something different, he told us, and he succeeded. Plus, for those who care, the chickpea flour makes this dish [...]

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Thu, September 18 2014 » Fruits and Vegetables, Grains, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Pizza, restaurants, Uncategorized » No Comments