While September is typically the time of year when weather starts cooling down as fall takes the place of summer, the Central Valley seems to be the exception. Despite our collective pining for autumn temps, we still have another month of extreme heat to go. Thankfully, the chefs at Tazzaria had this in mind when they created several light and refreshing dishes to ring in the end of summer. These healthful recipes bring together the best of two worlds: the refreshing bites of summer with the warm flavors of fall.
Piadina Salad Wrap
A piadina is an Italian flatbread that doesn’t use yeast, so it is faster to make. It’s thinner and crisper than pizza, but has the same scorched bread flavor. Piadinas are typically made at Italian cafés as a wrap with a variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, and vegetables.
Recipe makes 4-6
4 C (500 grams) flour
½ T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
Mix together the flour with the baking powder and salt, and gradually add enough water to make dough that is soft and somewhat sticky. Add the olive oil and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into four to six pieces and flatten each ball into a round to fit your griddle or frying pan (it should be about 3 mm thick). Prick each piadina all over with a form to prevent it from puffing up.
Heat your griddle or frying pan until it is very hot, then cook each dough round on both sides. Lightly charred spots on the dough are normal. Keep each piadina wrapped in a towel to stay warm.
When it comes to assembling your piadina and selecting your fillings, the sky is the limit. We prepared three different variations, including:
- Greek style with kalamata olives, feta cheese, fried chickpeas, and onions
- Blackened steak with creamy blue cheese dressing
- Grilled salmon salad
Curry Carrot Soup
This wonderful autumn soup is easy to prepare at home. It takes just about an hour to make, but tastes like you were in the kitchen all day.
8 C of diced carrots
2 T oil
2 T butter
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 C diced Roma tomatoes
5 T curry powder
1 T turmeric
Salt and pepper, kosher or sea salt
A few basil leaves, torn
8 C of veggie stock.
First, warm some oil in a pan and add a few tablespoons of butter (the oil will keep the butter from burning). Add the sliced onions and basil and sauté until translucent. Then add the carrots, tomatoes, and more basil. Cook until they are soft, about 20 minutes on medium heat. Once the carrots are tender, add the stock, salt and pepper, and spices. Allow the flavors to meld for another 20 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and either blend with a hand mixer, or let it cool completely and then blend in your blender if you want a really smooth texture.
When the soup is ready to serve, you can garnish it with whatever you like—grilled chicken, salmon, fried chickpeas, or roasted garlic. We used Tiger prawns and a dollop of crème fraiche to give it a creamy texture.