From the garden

We have a large garden that provides us with fresh vegetables all year round. One of the virtues of Tuscany is its food-local, fresh, simple and flavorful, and we are happy to share with you some recipes we prepare with vegetables from our garden.

BLACK CABBAGE

This beautiful cabbage is now in season and is a staple of Tuscan cuisine during the fall and winter months. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family, loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and imparts a rich and strong flavor. Sand you are in a hurry, just chop it up and sauté it in a pan with a little garlic and some extra virgin olive oil from Montecalvi. On the other hand, if you have some time on your hands, it is worth preparing a Ribollita, capable of satiating both the belly and the soul. There are many family recipes for this simple dish, but here is ours. During the harvest in Montecalvi, there is always a big pot of Ribollita cooking.

THE REBUILDING.

It is said that in Tuscany this rich soup dates back to the Middle Ages, when at the end of banquets, servants would gather crumbs from the table and mix them with leftover vegetables or meat sauces, bringing it all home to simmer, and adding beans to give substance.

For 4 people (as a full meal for lunch or dinner)

Ingredients

THE BREAD.

Use Stale Bread (bread without salt from the previous day) – about 4 slices

If you have it available, dip the bread in the pan gravy (especially tasty if you have cooked the pork loin), add half a glass of red wine from the night before, and let the bread absorb it completely. Then set it aside.

THE BEANS.

  • 1 large cup of cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 4 or 5 sage leaves
  • 3 or 4 bay leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil from Montecalvi

Let the beans soak overnight, rinse and then cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Add garlic, seasonings, and olive oil and leave on low heat for about an hour or so until tender. Leave in the cooking water until use.

THE VEGETABLES.

  • 3 small carrots
  • 2 small red onions
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of kale leaves

THE METHOD.

Wash, peel and chop all vegetables. Sauté the onions for about 10 minutes, then add the carrots and kale. Saute everything together, coating with olive oil until the kale leaves turn a brighter green. Add the diced tomatoes, a glass of water, and some salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Then add the cannellini beans and half of the water in which they were cooked. Add salt to taste (if you season the beans too soon they will harden). Add the bread and some more water from the beans, and if necessary, mix over low heat for another 5 minutes.

You can serve it right away, or leave it until the next day (in fact, it tastes better the next day). Just heat in a pot and add a tiny bit of water if needed. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

For us, the perfect wine to pair with Ribollita is Montecalvi San Piero 2013. The simplicity of this soup is enhanced by the elegance and complexity of our San Piero.

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