I have had very little time to experiment with my cooking lately. Fortunately the hotel was full, and I have been busy with my customers.
Certaldo, the town close to which I live, hosts a Medieval Street Festival every year in July. I very much look forward to this event as it brings thousands of people from all over Italy and Europe.
The people who come for Mercantia are usually quite eclectic, ‘Middle Ages’ aficionados, Troubadour wannabes, hippies, families. All kinds of really interesting people gather in my hotel, and I just love it. Cooking, eating, drinking wine and sharing stories of life.
Certaldo is the birthplace of ‘Giovanni Boccaccio,’ one of the most illustrious Italian writers. He is the author of ‘Decameron’ a collection of exhilarating novellas that take place in a Villa outside of Florence during the plague that devastated Italy in the mid 1300. Following the frame pattern of ‘One thousands and one nights’ and of ‘The Canterbury Tales,’ seven women and three men entertain each other with a story each. My College professor, Dr. Kircher has written countless fascinating articles on Boccaccio, is the president of the American Boccaccio Association and has a blog on the importance of Humanities in our life.
Having little time to spare I put together something that isn’t Tuscan at all! My partner, Enrico, had made a Mango and Peach Sauce for one of of his desserts, and a ripe mango was right there staring at me and I couldn’t help myself but chop it up and add it to my bean salad.
- 1 Ripe Mango
- 2 Ripe Avocados
- 1/2 Cup chopped Onion
- 2 Cups of cooked Beans
- 3 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs fresh oregano leaves
- Place onions in a small container with the Vinegar. Soak until the onions have turned to a nice bright pink color.
- Cut Mango and Avocado into squares as large as the biggest bean in your salad. Adjust with salt and pepper.
- Combine the Beans, Fruit, Onion, Fresh Oregano, and olive oil.