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From the Kitchen

Montenidoli’s Vegetarian Quiche

This is a delightfully refreshing summer dish, and will work very well with Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Fiore .

Make a firm chickpea purée, season it to taste with salt and pepper, and spread it in a half-inch thick layer over a nicely decorated round serving dish.

Wash and pat dry several baby zucchini and slice them into thin rounds. Take a bell pepper, red or rellow as you prefer, flame it to remove the skin, and cut it into strips, discarding the ribs and seeds. Arrange the zucchini and peppers in a decorative pattern over the chickpea puree, season them with salt, pepper, 2 or 3 crumbled anchovy filets, and freshly shredded basil, and drizzle a little extravirgin olive oil over them.
Serve, lightly chilled, as an antipasto.

Montenidoli’s Vegetarian Sformato

Another refreshing dish that will work nicely with Il Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG.

Montenidoli’s Vegetarian PizzaTake two medium-sized long (as opposed to round) eggplants and slice them thinly, then salt them and set them in a colander to draw out their bitter juices. After an hour rinse the slices, pat them dry, and fry them briefly in hot oil. Drain them well on absorbent paper and lay them out over a heatproof serving dish. Finely slice a mozzarella (buffalo milk mozzarella would be ideal) and lay the slices over the eggplant. Blanch and peel two or three plum tomatoes and slice them into eighths lengthwise, discarding the seeds and water they contain. Lay them over the mozzarella in a spoke pattern, season everything with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of extravirgin olive oil, dust it with a little freshly grated Parmigiano, and run it under a broiler to melt the cheese and brown it slightly.
Serve hot or warm, either as an antipasto or a side dish.

Black Risotto with Coprino Mushrooms

Risotto with Coprino Mushrooms The perfect match for Il Templare Toscana IGT Bianco.

At Montenidoli we often think of our beloved Venice, her Lagoon, and her superb fish dishes, in particular, risotto al nero di seppia, blackened by cuttlefish ink and with glistening white strips of fish. Montenidoli is far from the sea, and as we thought of our Venetian favorite it occurred to us that we might match it with a country variant, risotto with the “ink” of coprini mushrooms.

Coprini mushrooms sprout in spring and fall at Montenidoli, and we find them among our vines. When coprini are young they’re firm and white; when the caps open, the lamellae become black and frayed. They’re little known in Italy, but are very tasty and work beautifully in risotti, where the older caps supply the black that contrasts with the glistening white of the stalks and the younger caps.