I recently went to an event hosted by Verizon at the destination store in Santa Monica. It was a very interesting evening and I learned a great deal about tech devices and gadgets which I loved. However, I am first and foremost a cook and all I kept thinking about when confronted with all that red - red bags, red logo, red on the walls, red everywhere - were strawberries. I could almost smell them. I couldn't get them out of my mind and it is, in California, strawberry season after all.
The delicate and cool taste of cucumbers has always intrigued me. I tried my hand at incorporating that delicacy into a simple risotto made not with arborio rice, but regular white, long grain rice. I added some cotija cheese and a little onion.
Stemmari Cantodoro Risotto with Cherries & Gorgonzola
In Italy, wine is very much a part of the culture and I grew up being well acquainted with it.
In my region, the month of October means the weather is cooler after the humid summer, the grapes are just beginning to get that fullness that signifies readiness for winemaking. I remember the smells of the grapes, the way the skins appeared full to bursting with juice - the juice that would become wine.