May is the Elderflower season in Montegiove and it is the first sign of spring turning into summer.
When the beautiful flower is blooming, it looks just like a ballet tulle skirt, ready to be worn by an Elderflower Fairy.
The Elderflower Cordial is one of the most refreshing drinks for the summer.
20 Heads of Elderflower (preferable without bugs)
Sugar 1 kg
3 Organic lemons (Juice from two and one lemon in slices)
1 l boiling water
1. Shake the heads of the elderflowers well, picking off any bugs.
2. Place the elderflowers, sugar, lemon juice and lemon slices in a large bowl.
3. Add the boiling water and stir.
4. Leave in a cold place to infuse for 2-3 days stirring occasionally.
5. Strain through clean fine muslin cloth into a clean bowl.
6. Fill the cordial into clean sterilized bottles. Store in a cool dark place or freeze in plastic containers to keep for longer.
Drink cold or hot diluted with water, -also delicious combined with lemon juice in a sorbet.
The combination of the Arugula, the crispy pear and the salty Grana cheese is just amazing. Use it as a starter or as side dish for chicken or veal.
60 g of young Arugula salad (not too bitter)
1 large crispy Pear
60 g Flakes of Grana Padano cheese
50 g Walnuts
50 g Dried Cranberries or Raisins
Drizzle of Aceto Balsamico
Wash and dry the Arugula and place it on a serving plate. Peal the pear and slice it in very thin slices. You can leave the skin on the pear if you like the texture. Place the pear on top of the Arugula together with the Grana cheese.
Sprinkle walnuts and cranberries over the salad and just before serving drizzle the Aceto Balsamico on the top.
This little fellow woke us up one rainy morning; he was sitting outside on the window bars insisting on rehearsing his oop-oop-oop over an over again. Very charming to start with but after a while it got a little monotonous and we got up to find out what it was all about.
It felt very special to witness this pretty bird singing and we managed to make a blurry photo through the window glass.
In Italy the Upupa is also known as the butterfly bird. When it fly it looks like a giant butterfly as the wings are half closing at the end of each beat or short sequence of beats. It is also called the Legionary Bird because of its distinctive “crown” of feathers on the top of the head that it can open like a fan.
It is a colourful and very pretty bird known back to ancient Egypt and it is one of the fascinating animals that live in the forest around Castello di Montegiove.
We have finally started the construction of a stairway down to the swimming pool, after many years with a miserable and very challenging steep footpath to the pool area.
It is our own construction team that is building everything with local stones from the fields below the castle. All stones are placed like a never-ending jigsaw puzzle and it is amazing to follow the meticulous work, it seems like an endless stone snake has started its track from the top of the hill and down.
Now we are just waiting for warm summer days to come!
Easy and quick recipe, you can also use chicken or turkey, instead of veal scallops.
8 Veal scallops
Asparagus 1 big bunch
1 glass of white wine
2 dl cream
Clean the asparagus and cook them in salted water for about 5 minutes, don’t let them overcook. Drain and put them aside.
Heat up a pan and add the olive oil and butter.
On a plate stir together flour with salt and pepper, dip the scallops into the flour mix.
Cook the scallops until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a serving plate and keep them warm while you make the sauce.
Add the white wine to the hot pan and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, add the cream and let it heat up until it is reduced. Meanwhile cut the asparaguses into smaller pieces and add them to the pan with the simmering sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the warm sauce with the asparaguses over the veal scallops and serve.
We have been bottling our new ro.sa.to. 2016, it is one of the first signs that spring is on the way to Castello di Montegiove. The bottles with the pretty, bright pink wine looks so inviting and makes me look forward to summer lunches and evening aperitifs with friends and family at the terrace.
It is produced from Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero and Sagrantino grapes using the classical “saignée” method. The “saignée” process involves bleeding off a portion of wine after only a short period of time in contact with the grape skins. The colour of the rosé wine is derived from pigments only found in the skins of coloured grapes; the resulting colour of the juice from a short contact with the skins will have light or bright pink hue.
A delcious way to use the overripe bananas no one likes to eat from the fruit basket.
170 g Sugar
2 teasp Vanilla sugar
125 g Flour (if gluten free use bread flour)
1 teasp Baking powder
100 g Butter melted (cold)
1-2 Bananas overripe (mashed)
150 g Chocolate chopped into small chunks
1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Butter a loaf tin (ca 1 l.) or use baking paper.
2. Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Mix the flour with the baking powder and fold it carefully into the egg mixture together with the cold melted butter. Add the mashed banana and chocolate chunks.
3. Pour mixture into the loaf tin and bake in centre of the oven for around 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
4. Remove cake from oven and let it cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.