Margarita's International Recipes


Abruzzese Contorni

In Italian restaurants, you must order side dishes of veggies separately as they rarely come with the meat ones. I decided to serve the lamb with three accompanying contorni or "extras": Cioffa 'Mbriaca, an Abruzzese cauliflower dish; Sauteed Green Beans & Onions; Roasted New Potatoes. The later two aren't specifically Abruzzese dishes, just made of items that looked tasty at the farmers market that day.
Cioffa 'Mbriaca - Drunken Cauliflower

Cioffa 'Mbriaca - Drunken Cauliflower

The ubiquitous diavoletto makes its appearance again in easy dish. While it was fine for dinner, the leftovers the next day were so much better, I'd recommend letting yours sit overnite for best results.

  • 1 or 2 medium-size heads of cauliflower, about 3 pounds
  • 1 small diavoletto (dried Italian hot red pepper), crushed red chile peppers are a fine replacement
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste, optional
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

    Separate the cauliflower into flowerets and cut the stems into bite-size pieces, or reserve them for use in a salad. Place the cauliflower in a large, heavy pan. Add the oil, wine, bay leaves, garlic, diavoletto, salt, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the cauliflower is tender and all the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

    From Food and Memories of Abruzzo, Italy's Pastoral Land, by Anna Teresa Callen
    Sauteed Green Beans with Onions

    Sauteed Green Beans with Onions

  • 1/2 lb green beans, ends removed and cut in 1 inch slices
  • 1 small onion, sliced (purple spring onions are good in season)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    Blanch green beans in salted boiling water, about 3-5 minutes. Drain and shock in ice bath to retain bright green color. Drain again.
    Saute sliced onions in olive oil until slightly translucent. Add drained green beans, cook until heated through. Season with salt & pepper.

    Roasted New Potatoes

    Roasted New Potatoes

    These potatoes are so delicious, it's almost sinful. For best results use fresh baby potatoes and don't over roast them like I did this time.

  • 1 lb baby potatoes, sliced in half length wise
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, savory, etc)
  • chopped chives & chive blossoms, optional garnish

    Place sliced potatoes on a foil covered cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, sprinkle on assorted fresh herbs. Roast in 400F degree oven for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Serve garnished with chives & chive blossoms. Inhale.

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