Daniela and Nelusco invited us, Andrea and I, Polly and Piero and another couple, Fiorenza and Alessandro, for lunch yesterday, the occasion? Polly's birthday and a bon voyage to her and husband going to the USA for the annual visit to family (Polly's mother is celebrating her 100th birthday!)
We had just come back from our yearly trek to Miami Beach,
the usual lots of sunshine; then back to Tuscany,
where a siberian cold front had dumped a lot of snow just about everywhere; by the time we were to have the lunch a few days later the snow here had melted a bit and we were able to drive up and down the hill without too much trouble,
So we went to Daniela's,
There she started by serving four antipasti (not well in evidence here):
- soft local cheese slices (forefront)
- top right, eggplant slices previously grilled, then spread with a soft cheese, Robiola, mixed with chopped parsley and then rolled into fingers, all doused with tuscan olive oil (extra virgin, naturally) with more chopped parsley and a modest sprinkling of peperoncino (hot pepper flakes) on top...... Amazing!
- behind the pitcher a plate of sliced artichokes topped with a generous shaving of parmigiano with the ever present olive oil providing a green background
- further to the left a plate full of small cubes of local salami
- and then, coming back up front, just a small bowl of green and black olives
Up came the wine, an unassuming wonderful red from the southwest region of Tuscany known as Maremma, called Morellino di Scansano
That same region is also well known for an animal, the boar (it., cinghiale), that roams freely there,
not the prettiest of animals but one whose meat makes for a hearty meal in the coldest months of the year!
Daniela had made a stew with it and, as the standard side dish, polenta!
Quite a while later and a few glasses of wine, came Andrea's cake, a lemon coconut bundt with white butter cream frosting and toasted shredded coconut on top, all washed down with sweet wine....
Happy birthday, Polly!
Arrivederci to Polly and Piero and to a lovely day with friends,