Coffee and surroundings

Banning meat and fish from the table. That’s the philosophy of vegetarian diet, which excludes the use of animal products. Considered a niche phenomenon until recently, today more and more people, mainly women aged between 25 and 34, “converted” to this diet, making a choice that is not only bound to health, but also to ethics. In the “coffee and surroundings” section, Chef Carmelo Chiaramonte continues accompanying us in his trips and makes us find out how vegetarian cuisine can be pleasantly delicious, easy to prepare and within everyone’s means.

Winter exoticisms of the high hills

Winter plays with our mind, which is often puckered by cold and dreams about the summer and its warm shininess. The cure to take care of such subtle melancholy is to seek refuge in the hilly Mediterranean tastes: holm oak and oak woods, rare and resin-scented herbs and strolls to be released from the numbness of the heating system. The dream that heats up a gourmet soul comes from pistachio ice cream, light and in line with the rules imposed by Pythagoras regarding vegetarianism.

Three rare and totally Sicilian herbs in this dessert: helichrysum recalling the scent of curry, arquebuse rich in yellow daisy notes, and Artemisia, full of resin and fresh incense smell. A cold and unforgettable portion, where the taste of raw mushroom opens a window to the imagination of deep wood scent. Among the spoons sinking into the dish, the porcini mushroom is accompanied by the tastes of its botanic neighbourhood, olive oil, the black Sicilian bee nectar and the green candour of a Sicilian pistachio grove. Pairing a wine is not necessary, but if you want, here’s a glass of dry and deep Marsala.

How to prepare it

Mix all ingredients to prepare the ice cream and pour into the ice-cream freezer. Cook with oil until creamy. Burn charcoal, put into a smoker, place the porcini mushrooms onto a high grill, smoke with helichrysum flowers. Repeat the same procedure twice. Put an ice cream scoop and a slice of porcino mushroom onto a cold plate (0°) and decorate with oil, salt, flowers, herbs and honey.

For pistachio ice cream

20 cc milk, 10 cc fresh cream, 3 gr dry porcini mushroom powder, 60 gr thyme honey, 45 gr powdered shelled pistachios, 5 cc Nocellara Etnea extra virgin oil

To smoke the mushrooms

300 gr charcoal, 4 fresh helichrysum tops, 4 intact porcini mushroom caps

To complete the dish

Some artemisia tops, 4 arquebuse flowers, Chestnut honey, Nocellara Etnea extra virgin olive oil, Whole salt

Recommended song for the reading of the present articleGeorges Blues – The Pistachios