May 11, 2008

What a Week!

When Spring is in full swing,
Tuscany start partying!

Tourists start arriving as if to celebrate the rites of Spring
weekends are filled with festivals.
Near Piazzale Michelangelo, the iris show is on, it is free to enter and a special view of the city
from the olive groves with the iris garden planted at the feet of the trees.

We were lucky enough to walk by the Florentine costumed soldiers
getting ready for a parade on Saturday.

On our way to Vestri on Borgo degli Ablizi,
to order chocolates for a
tasting I am doing this week,
we also ran into a Calendimaggio festival near the shop.
Flowers everywhere, bookstands and artisan demonstrations in the street.

Of course, with a selection of wonderful artisan gelato as well as his incredible fabulous chocolates,
we had to try some of Leonardo's new flavors of the season.

I had chocolate granita, as well as a glass on Green ice tea.
My husband tried the almond gelato and coffee gelato,
made their own roasted coffee!

Next weekend is the Artisan show at the Corsini Palace in Florence.

My favorite foods start appearing now.

The small Florentine zucchini are ridged and eaten
when still about the size of your fingers.
They can be fried lightly in a batter and served
as an appetizer, often filled with a light sheep's milk ricotta
I heard that in Siena someone fills them with a meat filling
and then breadcrumbs them and fries them.
I will eat them anyway I can get them.
A true celebration of the season.

The blossoms that are fried are actually the male blossoms,
which do not produce zucchini.

I was instantly inspired when I saw these beautiful beets to make a recipe I learned in Umbria,
Spaghetti di Vino,
which my friend Paulette tweeked and added beets and goat cheese.
Try both versions and let me know which you prefer.


  1. I love fried zucchini flowers! I'm so thankful for your blog. You do a great job bringing us right into your world :)

  2. I would love to try zucchini flowers. What do they taste like? Also, the Spaghetti di Vino, with beets! Can anything be sweeter than that? I will definitely try this, since I have been trying to introduce more vegetable only dishes to the dinner table. I may roast the beets, first, though.