Home away from home

If I were to count the number of times I’ve moved house since moving continents, I’d need the fingers on both hands to keep track. It’s not that I don’t want to settle down, I just can’t seem to. Life has thrown me a fair share of curveballs and I’ve been on my toes since.

Source: Wikimedia Commons by TUBS

Despite having lived in several different houses/apartments and countries, only a few select places have earned their right to be called “home”. One of which, to my delight, is a food lover’s paradise. The Italian island of Sardinia, not to be confused with Sicily (the island by the toe of the Italian boot), is home to some of the freshest and most delicious ingredients out there, as well as some very traditional recipes that haven’t yet become mainstream despite how delectable they are.

So I’m taking it upon myself to publicise one of the most overlooked culinary hotspots by sharing a few mouth-watering photos and recipes from my home away from home.

Be prepared to fight the natural desire to drool and search for one-way tickets to Sardinia.

Grilled Shrimp

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Grilled shrimp seasoned with garlic and parsley.
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Simple and oh-so-delicious!

Often some of the best ingredients are ruined by over-seasoning or over-cooking. General rule of thumb: the simpler, the better.

DSC_4433
Finger-licking good!

DSC_4432ingredients:

  • Fresh shrimp (heads and shells on)
  • Chopped parsley
  • Minced garlic
  • Splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Splash of white wine
  • Salt
Before cooking:

Season shrimp with all the ingredients above and marinate for a couple of hours.

Preparation:

Put the shrimp on the grill and turn every few minutes so that they don’t overcook on one side. You’ll know they are cooked when they are opaque and pink.

Grilled Seabass

DSC_4436
Here’s lookin’ at you!

DSC_4435Fish tip: You can tell if a fish is fresh by looking at its skin and eyes. The skin should be shiny and the meat should be firm to the touch. The eyes should be clear and slightly bulgy. Also take a sniff; fresh fish shouldn’t smell fishy, but rather like the sea or ocean.

DSC_4442Ingredients:

  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh seabass
Before cooking:

Generously season the fish with the salt on all sides.

Preparation:

Put the fish on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes. Flip every 2-3 minutes so that it cooks evenly. You can tell the fish is cooked when the meat feels firm.

Dessert

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again…

And so I did… and this time… I prevailed!

Apple roses

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Apple roses with cinnamon and homemade quince jam
Slightly more browned than I would have preferred, but much prettier than my first attempt with pears... though, if I am to be honest, not as tasty as the pear version.
Slightly more browned than I would have preferred, but much prettier than my first attempt with pears… though, if I am to be honest, not as tasty as the pear version.

Cantuccini (by the basketload!)

DSC_4453
This is about half of what was actually made that day. Original cantuccini recipe x 4

Sides

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Not 100% sure what Sardinians call these little bread crackers, so I’ll call them “bread pillows”. They are hard like a cracker and hollow on the inside. Delicious with some melted cheese.
Pane carasau: traditional Sardinian flatbread; crispy and addictive!
Pane carasau: traditional Sardinian flatbread; crispy and addictive!

From the garden…

What can be more homey than a backyard vegetable garden?

DSC_4461
Why buy lettuce from the grocery store when you can grow it in your backyard?
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Cabbages from the cabbage patch.
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A lonely lemon on the lemon tree.

So anyone for a trip to Sardinia?

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