Even during this coronavirus lockdown, Italians are not renouncing their fresh vegetables: everyone’s still enjoying many portions a day.
We’re grateful for Novella’s stand in Assisi:
Recently, her bietola (Swiss chard) – when purchased, bound with a twisted willow sprig, as she binds all her leafy bunches – highlighted a couple meals for us.
After cutting the chard pieces, I washed the greens a couple of times in good amounts of water…
I steamed the Swiss chard briefly in salted boiling water and then seasoned some of it with our olive oil and freshly-squeezed lemon juice: a buonissimo simple lunchtime side dish, transmitting the taste of an Umbrian springtime.
For dinner, I made crostini di bietola. Simple and delicious, all you need to make these crostini are the steamed Swiss chard, extra-virgin (ONLY!) olive oil and fresh mozzarella (ours came right from the caseificio where it was made):
First step? Slice bread – and best to use a good crusty bread which is a couple days old and not too fresh nor soft: ideal for bruschetta and crostini (toasted bread with toppings).
I then toasted the bread slices on top of our wood stove (can also be done in the oven, logicamente):
…..and sliced the mozzarella:
I topped the toasted bread slices with the Swiss chard…….
…..and then, the mozzarella.
After a drizzle of olive on top, I slid the pan into the oven for a few minutes, just long enough for the mozzarella to melt:
And then I served the crostini alla bietola when still hot:
…and once again, creating something simple in the kitchen was the perfect deterrent to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack).
As was the sharing of it at the table.
Addendum: Making crostini together – parents and children, too – can be an enjoyable time-passer during lockdown. Topping varieties are endless: crostini can be topped with sautéed broccoli or spinach and a sharp cheese, sautéed mushrooms, diced tomatoes and mozzarella, just to name a few.
Ready to start inventing?
Click here to read about Novella’s vegetable stand during the coronavirus lockdown
Click here for a recipe of Pino’s mamma, Signora Vincenza (also helps ward off CPA)
Click here for another “coronavirus lockdown” recipe
Read here about an outdoor market visit to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack)
Read about new life on our land during the coronavirus lockdown.
Read about how reflecting on Van Gogh helped me see the beauty all around – in simple, insignificant objects
Click here to read about – and see! – a favorite Orvieto eating spot (to ward off CPA)
Read about – and see! – Assisi during coronavirus lockdown
Read about a Pino feast on March 8th as coronavirus distraction
Peppa is always perfect distraction from a CPA
Read about a stop for fresh pasta to ward off a CPA