On Sunday, March 6th, I co-hosted a tasting of authentic vegan Sicilian sweets, as well as savory food, that just happened to be vegan. I had a great time veganizing some traditional Sicilian desserts. The pistachio paste was already vegan, which is often the case with Italian foods. Thanks to Gretchen and Pascale of Tierno Tours, we also sampled foods and wine from the region. It’s May now, and I wanted to write again about the amazing trip to Sicily that I have planned with Gretchen, Pascale, and Donna of Green Earth Travel. You don’t have to be vegan to come spend 8 days with me – October 6-14, 2016 – in Sicily but if you are, you sure won’t be worrying about the food. And if you aren’t, you sure will be well fed, too!
For the March event, Gretchen of Tireno Tours made calzones, caponata – which is an eggplant-based dish well-known in Sicily, and one of my all time favorite dishes – a simple salad of oranges and fennel. Pasquale, her partner in life and business, told us about the region’s red wine.
Pistachio Nut Spread
This recipe is based on Sicilian pistachio nut paste. The color is rather like split pea soup but the taste is pure Italy. I so excited to make this in Italy with the legendary Sicilian pistachios. I’m thinking Crema Pistachio Gelato!
Yield: 1 cup
- 8 ounces shelled, raw, unsalted pistachios (start with 16 ounces)
- 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, more if needed to adjust consistency.
- Process the pistachios in a food processor until very fine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sugar, salt and olive oil. Process until a smooth and almost runny paste is achieved. This can take up to 10-12 minutes in a standard food processor.
- Spoon into a clean jar with tight fitting lid. Refrigerated, this spread should stay fresh for a couple of weeks. Trite maybe to say, but it will never last.
- Use as you would any nut butter. I served it on untested baguette slices and popped a plumped dried cherry on each. I served some on gluten free crackers too.
Mocha Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue Cookies
My newest creation and I am beyond excited. The recipe will be shared at some point, but not yet. This cookie is chickpea meringue based and contains hazlenut flour, chocolate, and espresso. Light as a feather in texture, with a great, assertive taste.
Budino al Ciccolato Cannele di Modica Azteca, a.k.a. Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate from Modica is very famous, and for me it is a puzzle. Why is Aztec style chocolate found to this day in Italy, and made as it has been for millennia? We will find out on our tour when we visit the oldest chocolate shop in Modica and the Chocolate Museum
Gluten-Free Brownie Bites
Did you know that gluten free is very normal now in Italy?
Chocolate Blood Orange and Sesame Truffles
These are my my Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles, but as Blood Oranges are found in Sicily, I subbed its juice for standard orange juice.
I hope you will join me in Sicily this October as we explore the region. For more information or to book your trip, visit the Vegano Italiano website: https://veganoitaliano.com/tours/sicily/
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