“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Versilia, Italy!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Insalata Russa (Russian salad)

Although the origins of this salad are debated there are claims that this salad dates back over 800 years and was introduced to Italy when Russian dignitaries visited.  I however was introduced to this salad by Anna Bernado, a beautiful family friend living in Ostia, just outside of Rome.  I was given the privilege of "designing" the top of the salad and chose the words "Natale" (Christmas), given that this was to be served to the family as part of a Christmas feast.  This entail came with a round of applause as it was presented to the table.  I can only take credit for the "design", however Anna takes full credit for the the preparation and delicious flavour.  This salad is generally served around Christmas time in Italy however you can find it during "apertivo time" at local bars and restaurants (I have tried many varieties but I have not had one as good as Anna's). The success of this salad is in the making of your own mayonnaise, the supermarket variety is incomparable.  Serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish, roast meats or even on some crusty bread.
Grazie tanti Anna per la ricetta!!!!
Mayonnaise Ingredients:
What you need:
500ml Extra virgin Italian olive oil
two large organic eggs 
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon
How to make:
Use a hand held stick blender. Place eggs in the bottom of a long, round container (normally provided with stick blender).  Then add the oil.  Place the stick blender in the container at the bottom and turn on for a few seconds, slowly move the stick blender up towards the top of the container.  This will take about  1-2 minutes as the egg/oil mixture combines and thickens to create mayonnaise.  Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.      

What you need for the salad:
300 grams peeled and boiled potatoes, then cubed
300 grams of carrots boiled in hot water with some salt
300 grams peas
two tablespoons capers
two tablespoons pickled gherkins cut into small pieces
400 grams of fresh prawns cooked then peeled (alternatively use cubed pieces of prosciutto) 

How to make:
1: Place all of the ingredients into a bowl but only half of the carrots, gherkins and prawns (reserve the other half for decorating)
2: Mix half of the mayonnaise mixture through the vegetable and prawn mixture and transfer to serving dish
3: Top with the remaining mayonnaise 
4: Use the reserved carrot, gherkin and prawns to create your "own design" on top
5: Make a day in advance to enhance the flavour
Buon apetito

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