Insalata Caprese

March 13, 2018

Recipe n. 42



It’s a classic. Mostly a Summer dish, served as an appetizer or as a salad to accompany another dish.  Even if the ingredients are not in season yet, I decided to publish it now because I was asked by one of my sons’s teachers to visit their classroom to do a ‘cooking’ demonstration about a traditional Italian food.

I picked this dish because it is easy to assemble and it doesn’t require any cooking. It’s also delicious and resembles the colors of the italian flag!

There are many legends around the origins of the Caprese salad. One of the most accreditated stories goes back to after world war II, when a laborer, who was very patriotic liked to include the colors of the italian flag in his ‘panino’ for his lunch break. Legend also has it that this dish appeared during dinner around 1920 in a hotel in Capri (the famous island off the coast of Naples) to please Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the poet and founder of the futuristic cultural movement.

One more story includes the Egyptian Sovereign Farouk.  In 1951, he went to visit the island of Capri with his family. It was a very sunny afternoon and he requested to have a quick meal prepared to satisfy his hunger. On that occasion he had the chance to taste a crunchy sandwich with pomodoro, mozzarella e basilico.  He fell in love when tasting these three fresh local ingredients together!

The dish was improved when the traditional mozzarella  from cows started to be replaced with bufala (buffalo) mozzarella, a dairy product typical to Campania.No matter where and when it was exactly created, this dish has become a signature Italian dish around the world.



caprese 3




Insalata di cavolo cappuccio con arachidi e semi di papavero

 Recipe n. 37

It’s finally Summer and it’s time to eat more raw and refreshing food. You might have noticed already  that your body is not craving for earthy soups or stews and needs to eat less fat in general, while instead  you are now craving for juicy and raw food, especially on those very hot days. Your body knows what is right for it and when to ask for a specific food.

For me this is the time of year I eat more salads. I like both simple salads dressed with a nice vinaigrette or more elaborate ones with many different ingredients in them. The salad I’m going to present to you today is definitely one of my favorite salads and it’s definitely  NOT a nut-free  salad, so watch out for those who have a nut allergy! 

You can eat it alone:  your hunger will be satisfied  with no need to add extra calories from other food.  It is a perfect meal for vegetarians and for all salad lovers!



© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights Reserved




© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights Reserved



  • 1/4  of white cabbage head and a 1/4  of red cabbage head, shredded (I used only the white cabbage, but it looks more colorful when you add the 2 cabbages together)

  • 2 to 3 tbsp of sesame oil  (toasted or plain)

  • 1 or 2 handfuls of peanuts

  • cilantro

  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds

  • salt and pepper



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Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl, pour the sesame oil on top and be sure to coat the cabbage well, add the peanuts, poppy seeds, sea salt and pepper and finish up with cilantro leaves on top ( I like to add a generous amount of cilantro leaves to this salad as they are not just supposed to garnish, but they are one of the main ingredients of the salad itself ).









Recipe n. 36

New York city has always been and will always remain a fascinating place to live from many points of view. One thing I never thought would be possible is ‘food trends’ for health conscious people, unless of course you live in a city like this. I remember many years ago the increasing consumption of agave syrup until all of a sudden it literally took over the market as ‘the healthy alternative to sugar’. (Not so many health experts would agree today,  as it has been shown to cause more harm than good. Agave syrup contains even more fructose than any other common sweetener, including the evil high-fructose corn syrup). Then the time of juicing raw vegetables arrived and now we literally have a juice store on almost every corner. The increased consumption of Kale, used as a base for many green juices has grown exponentially and because this vegetable is so versatile, another idea came up and had it’s moment- dehydrated kale chips in different flavors! The list of food trends is endless. Each has its moment- stevia, coconut oil, kombucha, home-made sprouting seeds and beans and the recent addition to the trend of bone broth sold in plastic containers and ready to eat (or drink). Wondering what’s next? Stay tuned. I’m guessing Xylitol could be a good candidate for the next food trend…

Back to my blog, after experimenting myself with homemade kale chips and juices, I started to make a special kale salad that everybody loves. Today I want to share this recipe with you.



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  • 1 bunch lacinato Kale

  • 1 head white cauliflower

  •  About 2 dozen Shiitake mushrooms

  • Croutons (home made or store bought)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper (or Gomasio)


© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights ReservedIMG_7496


Preheat the oven and roast the cauliflower florets for about 25 minutes at 350 F.

Wash, dry and remove the stalk from the kale leaves. Set aside.

In the meantime slice the mushrooms and sautée in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper for 10 to 15 minutes.

Slice the kale leaves thinly and transfer them to a large bowl. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper (or some gomasio) and using your hands coat evenly each leaf. Once the roasted cauliflower and mushrooms cool down transfer them to the bowl and mix gently all the ingredients together. Finish up with adding some croutons on top!


© 2016 Field of Flavors – All Rights ReservedIMG_7508








Recipe n.11

May 4, 2010


Here is another fresh and simple recipe that brings me back to Sicily. It’s a dish that my mother used to make for us quite often, especially in the summer time. If I close my eyes I can still smell the fresh fish from the local vendor where my mum still buys her fish every day with the breeze coming up the hill from the sea. It’s a perfect salad to serve as an appetizer during a party or to eat on its own for lunch or dinner. I love how it tastes and how beautifully the colors of the ingredients complement each other.


  • 15  wild squid ( tubes and tentacles)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped small
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped small
  • 2 green onions sliced small
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian flat parsley chopped
  • 2 juicy lemons
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Rinse the squid and place them in a pot with water, bay leaf and a few slices of lemon with its juice. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain the water and set aside to cool down. In a large salad bowl  add the carrots, celery and onions. Cut the squid in rings and  put in the bowl with the  tentacles and the rest of the ingredients. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the salad marinate. You can serve it cold or at room temperature.

Buon appetito!

Recipe n.4

April 21, 2010


Often times we take things for granted in our lives and we only appreciate them when we don’t have them anymore, or when we realize that what we thought was part of  everyday life is not. I grew up in ‘una villetta con giardino’, a small house in Sicily with a beautiful garden full of olive, lemon, mandarin and orange trees. Back then I didn’t think of it as a special gift, I thought it was normal. My mom used to make us fresh squeezed oranges juice all the time and a delicious salad with orange and fennel, which is a typical dish in Sicily. The mix of these two ingredients together might sound unusual but the taste of it is very unique and refreshing. There are different versions of this salad but I personally like the original and simple one. It’s raw, fresh and quite easy to make.




  • 1 large fennel bulb (reserve some fronds for later for decoration)
  • 2 oranges (Sicilian blood oranges or navel)
  • ½ an orange juiced
  • 2 Tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 to 15 Black olives (optional)
  • ¼ cup Red onion very thinly sliced (optional)

Cut the fennel bulb in quarters and slice it thinly crosswise.  Peel each orange, slice in rounds or chop small. Whisk together the oil and juice in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season the salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 3 people

Tip: If you’re not a vegetarian this salad is a perfect match for sweet fennel Italian sausages but even on its own it makes a perfect salad!

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