Tag Archives: Giglio

Isola del Giglio: last night, and departure

sunset Giglio
It was our last evening of a lovely week on Giglio, with an amazing sunset. In the distance,  the island of Montecristo (As in the book “The Count of Monte Cristo”.)

paella
For our last holiday dinner we had ordered paella at Da Tony, which was just wonderful. It seemed pricey, at 48 euro, and the menu said minimum two people. However, as you can see it was more than enough for four people to share, with masses of fresh seafood piled on. Definitely something to enjoy again. I should dig out that paella pan (wedding gift) and try, though I am not sure where to find paella rice in Rome. Castroni, possibly? Or would using risotto rice in paella be an abomination?

amaro del Giglio
Dinner finishes with Amaro del Giglio, which assists digestion and is delicious

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Sunset over the tower and beach.

departure
Next morning: Luggage packed, all set for going back to Rome. Some by car, and some by taxi, ferry, bus, a very hot train, and bus…… Very warm experience. That shower waiting in the other end was very appreciated, before unpacking all the laundry and piles of holiday books. Also, some last-minute purchases.

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On the left: Amaro del Giglio, which is fantastic, one of my favourite amari. We bring some back to Rome every summer. Amari (bitters) are Italian herbal liqueurs, usually bitter-sweet, served as a digestive after the meal. Lots of variations, beside the classics (Averna, Lucano, Montenegro, Ramazotti) and the homemade ones can be interesting. Ingredients may include herbs, spices, roots, citrus peel and more. Plus two new bottles to try, we found them in Giglio Porto: an amaro from the “antica farmacia” on Giglio (have not seen that one before) and a finochietto (fennel liqueur).

Now, settling back to Rome in August heat, and craving more seafood………

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Isola del Giglio: dinner at Da Tony

Moscardini at Da Tony
Moscardini fritti, so tasty……. Yes, here I am taking pictures of food in a restaurant, which is annoying. It is for research, I swear! We had such delicious food at Da Tony, and I want to try making some of these at home, if I can find some semi-decent seafood.

Tagliatelle alla scoglio
Tagliatelle alla scoglio (scoglio roughly means rock emerging from the sea): cozze, vongole calamari (mussels, clams, squid), scampi, cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, mmm…..

Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachini and rughetta
Tagliolini with coda di rospo, pachino and rughetta. Very tasty.

Now, if I had brought along Daniel Etherington’s excellent guide Italian names for fish and seafood, I would have known what I was eating……..

coda di rospo – what a great name. It literally means “tail of the toad” or “toad’s tale”. The other common name for this fish is rana pescatrice, “frog fisherwoman”. Slightly more prosaically, we call this type of monkfish “anglerfish” (Lophius piscatorius), though other English names are frog-themed. Some more colourful Italian names are: diavolo de mar (“sea-devil”, also a name used in English apparently), rospo di fango (“mud-toad”), pisatrice nera, etc. Novel names aside though, the angler is really one of the core species to not eat, and it’s been on the Greenpeace Red List since 2010. Even the UK Marine Conservation society rates it as 4 (with 5 the worst).

Spaghetti alla vongole
Spaghetti alle vongole, the classic

Riso con crema di scampi
Riso con crema di scampi

Tagliolini con scampi
Tagliolini con limone e scampi, very light and fresh

This is all making me really hungry….. Now, some seafood for dinner, I think. Tonight we are making a recent Venetian-inspired recipe from The Telegraph, which looked fun: Sardines with Campari, peach and fennel recipe. Must go start the sardines now, they are already marinating in grated peaches and Campari. If we could then add the sound of the waves, a nice sunset and an evening sea breeze, it would be just perfect!

Isola del Giglio: grilled calamari for lunch

calamari

Hot sunny mornings on the beach, with sounds of sea, happy kids and the fish truck arriving every morning, with “Pesce fresco!” being shouted through the slightly tinny loudspeakers. They did not have moscardini, so we did not try making those, but they did have some lovely fresh calamari. So one day we bought some for lunch.

calamari

I had initially thought of doing Chargrilled squid and courgette from Chica Andaluza. But it was hot, and we opted for just serving the calamari sliced across in strips ( they curled up ) on a crisp green salad with garlic, salt, pepper and lemon boats. Fresh focaccia on the side.

calamari

First, however, we had to clean them. There is a first time for everything! I knew the theory: pull out the innards and the plastic-looking bit, but actually doing it was interesting. I slit them lengthwise and then cleaned them, just to sure it was all out.

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The fishmonger kindly provided parsley and peperoncino.

parsley

Grilled calamari on green salad (to serve eight as a light main course)

Fifteen-twenty squid, cleaned but left whole (1.5 kilos)
1 small chili, finely chopped
2 cloves of finely sliced garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Plain green salad
Generous handful of chopped parsley
Lemons, cut in boats

Clean the squid, and cut them lengthwise in two. Arrange the salad on a large platter, with chopped parsley, minced peperoncino and chopped garlic sprinkled over. Cook on the barbecue (or on a very hot griddle pan) until slightly charred. Cut the grilled calamari across into bite sized strips (careful, it will be hot and the strips will curl up) and serve it on on top of the salad, with some salt sprinkled over. Squeeze lemon juice over, right before serving. Some fresh focaccia with rosemary on the side is very nice.

Notes: marinating the calamari with olive oil, peperoncino and garlic would have been even nicer, but as people arrived hungry from the beach, we fast-tracked the calamari. And forgot to take a picture of the final platter. I used smoked salt on half the calamari, that was excellent.

grilling calamari

Then, back to the beach for an afternoon swim…..

sunset Campese

Update: it turns out that someone else took a picture.

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