Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

The first sunny day is when we dust off our outdoor table and chairs, roll out the awning and fire up the grill for an al fresco lunch on the terrace. Yesterday was ideal – the sun was out with a light breeze and we still had so much fresh produce from my Thursday morning market trip so an impromptu Italian menu was planned.

We had grilled red peppers and aubergines drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, boiled new potatoes with a mustard parsley vinaigrette and sliced leg of lamb marinated in olive oil, rosemary, lemon and pepperoncino (crushed and dried red chili pepper flakes). This marinade was something we learned from La Pietraia‘s housekeeper, Rosalba, during our holiday in Todi in 2005 and what we had for dinner to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday.

The peppers were sweet, the aubergine smoky and complemented the rosemary and lemon-flavored lamb perfectly. It was a good thing we decided to use our grill since halfway through our meal, we had a power cut which meant that instead of fresh fruit we had to have some Häagen-Dazs ice cream – Dulce de leche and Belgian chocolate- for dessert before it all melted. The rest of the day was spent lounging around in the shade reading the FT Weekend.

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