Monday, May 29, 2023

Venetian Style Spritz

I'm just back from a trip! I wasn't sure when I'd ever get to travel again. But, travel I did. Venice was the first stop. We stayed in a VRBO right in the middle of the oldest part of Venice. The owner of the unit was born and raised in Venice, and lucky for me (and all of us), she was a foodie! She pointed us in some amazing directions, plus she suggested some truly delicious restaurants as well as types of food and drink. The afternoon drink of choice is Venice is the spritz, a delightful drink that's part prosecco, part sparkling water, and part Select. The bartender where I had my spritz added both an olive and a dried orange slice when I asked for a Spritz, Venetian style. I've included the photo of the spritz I had there, at Oficina Ormensini, where the food was just as good as the spritz! (More on that later.)


3 oz prosecco
2 oz select
1 oz sparkling water
1 Italian green olive
1 dried sweetened orange slice


Fill a white wine glass at least 1/2 full with ice cubes. Add the prosecco, select, and sparkling water, stirring gently to combine. Spear the green olive with a long toothpick, then add it and the orange slice as garnishes. Serve and enjoy. 

Serves 1

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Select is an aperetivo similar to Aperol, but with a Venetian twist. It's been made in Venice for over 100 years, so many of the people there think of it as their own. I had my spritz with a late lunch when it was warm and sunny - it was very refreshing and cooling. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Gnocchi with morels and green beans

I saw these morel mushrooms at the farmers market and couldn't resist. I mean, how many times do you find fresh morels? I so rarely see them that I snap them up whenever they make an appearance. This time, I mixed them up with green beans and green onions and tossed the resulting mixture over some gnocchi. Delicious! 


8 oz fresh or frozen gnocchi
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter or vegan butter

1 tsp olive oil
4 to 8 oz fresh morel mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
4 to 8 oz fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2 inch lengths
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 Tbs butter or vegan butter

2 Tbs Parmesan cheese


Set a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the gnocchi per package instructions, usually about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

Clean the morels, by inspecting them for dirt (or bugs) and brushing them clean. Cut off the woody ends and discard, cut the morels in half, or cut them in quarters if they are very large. 1 tsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic, along with the green beans and green onions. Cook for an additional minute or two, just until the vegetable begin to soften. Add the stock and wine, if using, and cook for until warm. Stir in the butter until the mushroom mixture is smooth and creamy. Remove the mushroom mixture to a plate and set aside. Return the empty skillet to the stove. Heat the teaspoon of olive oil and butter in the skillet and add the drained gnocchi to the skillet. Cook, turning midway, until the gnocchi is browned is spots, about 4 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture back to the skillet, stirring to combine. 

Dish up the gnocchi with mushrooms. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Look for morels at your local farmers market. You'll likely find the freshest wild mushrooms there. In addition, there are some mushroom growers who may have fresh morels, though they're still seasonal, making their debut each spring. Many vendors will help you pick our the best mushrooms. I always ask them first. However, if they're busy, look for mushrooms that are firm and dry. Avoid mushrooms that are soft and wet or hard and dry. Enjoy your morels!