This year too, the season of the open air lunches is back. In the pink portico of the ancient stone house on the hills of Lake Maggiore, the iron table decorated with Laveno earthenware and old tavern wine glasses is immediately ready.  We buy some traditional bread at Intra market, we visit the vegetable gardens of our friends on the hills, and our shopping basket is already overflowing with colorful vegetables.

In fact, our summer menu displays the same nuances of the palette of Daniele Ranzoni and his scapigliati friends. During the 17th century, they used to visit the hills of Ghiffa and Antoliva to paint the woods en plein air…

recipes: Alessanda Avallone





For 6 servings Preparation: 45 minutes


  • 5 big zucchinis
  • 1 leek
  • 400 gr fresh peas
  • grated bread
  • 100 gr mixed cereals in flakes
  • basil
  • 1 full tablespoon of yeast
  • 2.5 dl vegetable broth
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups of light and basil sauce on the side

Cut the zucchinis in thin stripes, add a bit of salt, and let them rest for 10 minutes until soft. Brush 12 muffin molds with some oil, sprinkle them with grated bread, and lay 4 crossed slices of zucchinis in each of them.  Chop the rest of the zucchinis and the leek. Pan-fry these two ingredients with 2 tablespoons of oil, add salt and the shelled peas. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Pour 2.5 dl of vegetable broth, bring to a boil and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn the heat off and let everything cool down. Flavor the flakes with the yeast and the chopped basil. Fill the molds with the vegetable and flakes mix. Fold the zucchini slices over the filling and oven cook at 180° for 20-25 minutes. Remove the muffins from the molds and serve them warm or cold with the tomato and basil sauce.






For 6 servings Preparation: 30 minutes


  • 6 long and slender eggplants
  • 80 gr white miso
  • 4 cl mirin (or sherry)
  • 4 cl sake
  • some rosemary branches
  • basil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Dilute the miso with the mirin and the sake. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, incise them making cross cuts, and brush them with half of the miso mixture. Put them in a baking tray and cook them in a preheated oven at 180° for 15 minutes. Brush them with the remaining miso sauce, sprinkle with rosemary and oven cook for 10 more minutes.  Serve them with a bit of raw oil, pepper and traditional bread.







For 6 servings Preparation: 30 minutes + 30 minutes for the marination


  • 400 g tempeh
  • 6-8friggitellochili peppers
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of shoyu
  • 2 tablespoons of tamari
  • 2-3 tablespoons of agave syrup
  • For the sauce:
  • half an onion
  • a small leek
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 glass of soy milk
  • 1 fresh turmeric root (or a teaspoon of turmeric powder)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Roughly chop the onion, the leek, and the celery, and sauté them in 2 tablespoons of oil. Cook them for some minutes until soft, add salt and then the turmeric root previously cut into rounds and the soy milk. Cook for 3 more minutes. Blend the mixture until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Dice the tempeh and cut the sweet chili peppers in rounds. Mix the lemon juice, the shoyu, the tamari and the agave syrup in a bowl. Add the tempeh and marinate it for 30 minutes. Put the tempeh on the skewers, alternating it with the sweet chili peppers. Oven cook at 200° until golden. Reduce the marinade on the heat until syrupy. Brush it on the hot tempeh and serve with the turmeric sauce.







For 6 servings Preparation: 20 minutes + 1 night to soak the almonds


  • 400 gr einkorn fusilli pasta (or mixed rice and legumes pasta)
  • 300 gr colored cherry tomatoes
  • 60 gr almonds
  • grated bread
  • 1 full tablespoon of light miso
  • 1 bunch of mixed herbs ( parsley, coriander, basil, radish leaves)
  • 4-6 tablespoon of shoyu
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Let the almonds soak overnight in lukewarm water until swollen. Drain them well, put them in a mixer with 2 handfuls of mixed herbs previously washed and squeezed, and half of the hemp seeds. Blend but keep the mixture quite grainy. Add the miso, 4 tablespoons of oil, stir, and add salt to taste. Cut the colored cherry tomatoes in half or in rounds. Season them with salt, shoyu, 2 tablespoons of oil. Let them rest for 10 minutes. Cook the pasta al dente, drain it and add the sauce, the cherry tomatoes and the remaining hemp seeds. Serve the pasta lukewarm or cold.



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