Posts Tagged ‘leaves from our tuscan kitchen’


No peas involved–simple, easy, as in easy peasy!

Just looking at the colour warms you up.


Adapted from a recipe in Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen–a peak into the day to day ways of cooking in a Tuscan villa in the late 19th century.

for 2/3

1lb/450gms pumpkin–roughly chopped with its skin

1 medium onion–chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 generous pint stock (I use organic vegetable stock cubes.)

salt and pepper

  • Put the onion and the pumpkin pieces in a saucepan with the olive oil.
  • Add the spices with the salt and pepper.
  • Turn everything over, cover and sweat over a low heat for twenty minutes to soften the vegetables.


  • Add the stock and cook uncovered for a further twenty minutes or so, until the pumpkin is tender enough to liquidize.
  • Liquidize the mix–best done with a stick mixer, saves much washing up!
  • A pinch of chopped parsley is a nice touch in each bowl.
  • I cut up some rye bread–a slice each–into crouton size pieces, sautéed them in a little olive oil and added a pinch each of salt and cumin powder.
  • Meredith suggested sautéed bacon bits would be good too.

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Sprouts like a good frost is one of the few gardening mantras I remember growing up in the fifties.

My father must have said it.

Dad grew vegetables–mainly root vegetables in winter but sprouts as well–on their extraordinary rods.


Late autumn/winter is their season–time of the first frosts.

Woke this morning to a white out–not snow, but a heavy frost–brussels came to mind.

At this time of year my mother would add the traditional chestnuts or bacon to liven them up.

She didn’t overcook them either–one reason members of the cabbage family remain unpopular with some.

This is a simple alternative–adapted from the wonderful Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen.

for 2/3

1lb brussel sprouts–outer layers removed and larger ones halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons wholewheat breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons parmesan–grated

salt and pepper

  • Steam the sprouts for about ten minutes–to soften them but taking care not overdo it.


  • Remove from the heat.
  • Heat the oil in a sauté pan and when it’s hot carefully transfer the sprouts to the pan.
  • Sauté on a high heat until they show signs of browning.
  • Add the cheese and breadcrumbs and stir fry for a couple of minutes–scraping the breadcrumb and cheese mix off the base of the pan (they become deliciously crunchy), while turning the sprouts.

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