Italian taste palettes tend toward the bitter and sour flavors. Some love it and others not so much. This drink, which I absolutely love in the Spring and Summer is refreshing with a punch! You will see its colorful presence in cafes and bars all around Italy in warm weather.
You only need 3 ingredients, and sometimes I only use 2. An orange is used for the garnish.
Prosecco (sparkling wine or champagne-Prosecco is the Italian version-make sure it is dry and not sweet)
Soda (or not-I usually leave this out!)
Orange slice for garnish.
Mix in equal parts or to your preference after experimenting a bit. If the Aperol is too bitter, use less of it. I usually serve it in a wine glass. You will love it!
Several of my friends have insisted that I should visit this sale, even though I have no gardening space or terrace in my apartment. I do love plants and long for a place to put them. I have a few herbs and an occasional flowering plant, but don’t have too much success with my window boxes that don’t get enough sunlight, and later on in the summer, too much sunlight…nevertheless, I try.This plant sale was unbelievable and worth going to simply to enjoy the color, fragrance, and see the different species of plants for sale. It lasts one week, this year from April 25-May 1 and they also have a Fall event the first weekend in October. Of course, true to form, I visited this event on the last day.I was concerned that everything would already be sold, but boy was I wrong. There were a lot of people there even though it was the last day, and the weather was unpredictable that day. The display was phenomenal and definitely worth going to even if you aren’t buying. Of course I couldn’t resist, and managed to make it home with a large basil plant, thyme, mint, lavender, and rosemary, which I use all the time.This year, I have really been taken with plants and flowers. I’m not sure if that is a result of the 5 months of rain, a longing for “green” in this city of stone, or both! Anyway, I am certainly enjoying this Spring of seemingly more flowers than normal!You can enter the garden from these locations: Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 4 e da via Bolognese 17. Enjoy!
Excuse me if I have written about this a time or two before, but I eat this several times a week, so in comparison, I don’t write about it often! This time of year, when the great Italian tomatoes become even more excellent (is that possible?) and the fresh basil is at its most lively and fragrant, it seems I just can’t get enough of it.Folks often top this salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but I find that the balsamic is too heavy on this flavorful healthy beauty, and mars the colors of the Italian flag (red white and green).Put these 3 tasty ingredients on your shopping list: Fresh basil (buy a whole plant! It will be tastier and last longer) tomatoes (get whatever looks the best, cherry, grape or the larger sized tomatoes) and Fresh Mozzarella (Bufalo if you can afford it, but the other is good also). Cut and mix together and drizzle with some tasty olive oil (extra virgin of course) and a little salt and pepper and enjoy without guilt!
In Italy, this salad is usually served as a “primi piatti” (first dish) instead of a side dish.
The Iris Garden is opened this year from April 25-May 20. Having gone very late in the year last year, I was determined to get there early this year, so arrived on April 26!Unfortunately, since the nights have been cooler this year, none of the irises were in bloom. One of the women working there assured me that in a week or so, they would be in bloom, so a friend and I took the excursion back up on May 4. They were blooming and lovely!This garden is run by the International Iris Society and is only open during the one month that the irises are blooming. I was there on a Saturday and there were a lot of people there taking photos and enjoying the countryside. The garden is located among an olive grove on the side of the hill and paths wind down the hill, making a very scenic peaceful and lovely place to spend an afternoon.There are lots of places to sit down and enjoy the scenery, and the colors and types of irises are splendid.My friend and I decided we couldn’t really say which was our favorite after several times proclaiming, “Oh, this is my favorite!” The multi-colored ones were exceptional, but also the simplicity and perfection of the ones in one delicate color. As is often true, my camera doesn’t do justice to the real beauty, and the fragrance throughout the garden was nice as well. The trip to the Iris garden each Spring is something I will look forward to for many years to come.The garden is opened, as I said for one month, but the times are 10-12:30 and 3-7 each day. Entrance is free.