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White roots loving, a real medicine. And what a taste! – Italian Cuisine


They are the organ of the plant involved in absorb water and mineral salts from the earth, the roots. And they come out of the earth pale, these roots: white and bitter, unlike their cousins, the colorful sweet carrots – also roots, in fact, as indeed are the virtuous turnips or the anti-diabetic sweet potato. Even when tuberiformes (ie, pot-bellied like a carrot and not in the shape of a breadstick), should not be confused with tubers, such as Jerusalem artichoke or potato, naturally – which are substantially enlarged portions of the stem of the plant, with a reservoir function of glucose substances .

170543White roots loving, therefore. Often we see them on the market bench e let's turn our eyes. Too much love? Too difficult to clean? Too unknown to cook? Well, it's time to take them back! And then know it: there are no more roots than once. They too have adapted to modern tastes and nowadays they are less bitter, probably softened by climate change.

170534The most famous of the loving white roots is that of Soncino (CR) where for decades the Amara Root Festival has been promoted. It is the root of a variety of common chicory (Chicorium intybus, var. sativus). Its origin is probably Ligurian, and just in the province of Genoa grows another excellent variety (sativus Bischoff), locally called "chiavarina" (from the town of Chiavari). Although the most famous and valuable root is there salsify, brown outside, white inside, more flavorful sweet, sophisticated and delicate, delicious past in the pan, with butter, white wine and lemon. Or breaded to the Milanese! It is also comparable to the latter the gobo, which is nothing but the root of the burdock, highly appreciated in Japan and now return to us (while in France they use it asparagus type). Their sweetness allows you to use them greedily even as a filling of delicious savory pies.

But back to those a bit 'more bitter, since that bitter is all health … These roots were once very appreciated, above all for their medicinal value: they are one extraordinary depurative, for blood and for the intestine. Already the ancient Greeks and Romans used them. Undoubtedly they detoxify liver and kidney: just eat a portion to guess this their property! Not only that: they help the growth of the famous bacteria in the colon Bifidus – those we try to stimulate with some yoghurt, which avoid unwanted fermentation processes. They also help to absorb the iron: perfect therefore for those suffering from anemia.

How to treat them? The cleaning it can be a bit boring, but here's a trick: "Sacrifice" a kitchen sponge and the scratches with the rough part, this will simplify your life.

At this point they can boil: common heritage wants it to be good to add a little lemon and / or vinegar to the water. In fact, the suggestion, to do go away a bit 'bitter, is to put in the water a carrot cut into pieces.

170537They are eaten lukewarm or cold, seasoned typically with extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon (and vinegar, if you like) and garlic. In Chiavari they also put the anchovy in oil, and the root becomes gourmet! They are perfect from combine to seconds of fat meatsbecause they "purged". Or you can later on au gratin, perhaps adding a sweet cheese.

Regarding conservation, it is good to put them in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep the humidity. But be careful, there's a big one the difference between the tuberform and bity-rooted white roots (like that of Soncino). While the former would not give impulse to a new plant, and therefore with the passing of the days wither, they collapse, the latter are 'live' and continue to 'work': the green tuft grows and blooms, the root can throw other radicles while she becomes ever harder, woody. Within a week will have the consistency of a bone! In fact 'the old' at the time when you really did not throw away anything, when they were already hard often boiled for a long time and then chisel away the now unusable part. Conclusion: eat them as soon as possible! Still some ideas on how? Vellutate, combining them and mixing them with homegrown, lovable potatoes. Or croquettes (maybe together with vegetables and flavors).

170540And finally, a note: country that you go, root that you find. The common denominator is that they are the 'white loving'. There are also less bitter (and less white!), Of course, like the ones mentioned above (scorzonera & c) or the parsnip, large, hard and sweet, a sort of white parsley a little parsley (to try for example crushed in oven-baked pie, with cream and eggs). And the Japanese daikon, More and more common also by us, a natural fat burner with a sharp and decisive flavor. Another common denominator is: they are all very poor in calories! But give a chance to those you love too, trust me, your body will thank you and your palate will have some surprises.

Aurora Quinto
February 2019

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3 tips from Visentin to write … of taste! – Italian Cuisine


The interest in food, triggered in recent times, has given rise to a proliferation of food writers or simple food and wine enthusiasts who are challenged in the world of writing. But how do you become a good critic?

Eat to write, write to eat. Most coveted profession and undervalued that of the gastronomic editor.
Improvising is easy as well as minimizing the training necessary to get to this profession, because in fact, in Italy above all, we all eat, we all know how to eat and so … can we even write?
As a good Bouillabaisse, the famous sauce, becoming a food writer can take a very slow boil (almost literally) before arriving at the right cooking stage. And not always, taste satisfies palates.

We asked for some advice then Valerio M. Visentin, a well-known critic in the mask of Corriere della Sera, much feared by restaurateurs but loved by readers for his healthy, timely and honest criticism, which has taken care of the teaching proposal of the Writing di Gusto course, a multidisciplinary teaching path that teaches the art of writing but above all an ethical approach to criticism.

The 3 tips from Valerio Massimo Visentin + one

1) The perfect foodwriter must know thoroughly grammar and dictionary to communicate with timely language. And, possibly, of pleasant reading.

2) Must defend reputation and independence of judgment with courage and determination. They must be avoided like the bubonic plague, therefore, conflicts of interest, improper friendships, languid selfies with chefs and restaurateurs.

3) Must have respect is curiosity towards food and those who prepare it. Without fanatisms or uncontrolled passions.

3a) If the foodwriter is also a food critic, he must always act in disguise, gently rejecting invitations and gifts.

The course, organized by Sasso / Carta and DOOF and directed precisely by Valerio M. Visintin, is developed as a series of lectures in which theory and practice are integrated, in an engaging and stimulating environment: real editorial meetings in which students will be guided in the drafting of editorial plans, receive input from the editor-in-chief and acquire the method to write articles and reviews.

A real opportunity for lovers of gastronomy and for writers, professionals and non-professionals, to get involved in a place of permanent exercise, confrontation and interaction.

Lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola, for a winter taste – Italian Cuisine


They are a vegetarian version of the classic dish prepared with meat sauce and béchamel sauce. To try on these cold days

When it comes to lasagna you have to do it in a reverential tone, given what they represent for Italian cuisine. True comfort food, whose recipe is handed down from mother to daughter, are the dish par excellence that recalls the intimate and familiar atmosphere of home. There traditional version contemplates the use of meat sauce and béchamel sauce, but the variations can be even tastier, especially if based on vegetables and tasty cheeses, such as those radicchio and gorgonzola. Let's try to prepare them together.

lasagne-radicchio-and-gorgonzola
Lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola.

The home-made bechamel is better

Do not be overwhelmed by laziness, buying an industrial béchamel sauce. If you decide to get to work to prepare lasagna, that everything is but a simple and quick dish, do not spoil everything with a béchamel sauce in a tetra pack. Put in a saucepan 100 g of butter and immediately after 100 g of flour. Melt the butter, stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. Add nutmeg and flush, 1 l of milk. Keep stirring until you see milk thicken. Switch off, add a pinch of salt and let it cool. You have prepared a béchamel in 5 minutes which will make your lasagna even better.

Gorgonzola, perfect also for those who do not tolerate lactose

Did you know, you lactose intolerant that gorgonzola can eat it? This cheese, thanks to the triple fermentation which is subjected to the milk needed to make it (lactic, with the yeasts and finally with the molds), is completely lactose free and is therefore recommended to all those who, while intolerant to this sugar, do not want to give up eating a good cheese.

The recipe for lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola

Ingredients for 4 people: 500 g of lasagna dough, 500 g bechamel, 250 g sweet gorgonzola, 800 g red radicchio, 100 g shelled walnuts, grated parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, a knob of butter, salt and pepper.

Method: in a pan, brown the washed radicchio in a little oil and cut into strips. Add salt and keep aside. Grease a pan for lasagna and start to compose the recipe by placing a sheet of dough. Spread some radicchio leaves over it, the béchamel sauce ready and some pieces of gorgonzola. Add two tablespoons of coarsely chopped walnuts and then start over until you have finished all the ingredients. Finish with the béchamel sauce, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan and a few flakes of butter. Bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes and then enjoy this dish full of taste.

In the tutorial some more suggestions to prepare the lasagna with radicchio and gorgonzola