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A thoughtful blend of original ‪‎photography‬, ‪haiku‬ and ‪calligraphy‬; a cathartic journey upon fluid images and simple words.

25 Aug 2010

Home sweet home

Crostini with spiced pork patty, celery cream and yellow peach

Almost one week ago I finally arrived in Sicily. Right out of the plane, my home land welcomed me with a warm sunny embrace, relaxing and comforting.
It has been a few years since I last visited my family during the summer season. I had forgotten the mood, the still atmosphere, the crave for that breeze in the evening, the blinding sun, the suffocating heat, the singing cicadas, the sleepy cats spread over the shadowy ground; I had forgotten the Sicilian summer symbolon.

Already the day after my arrival it was farmers’ market day in my town. Sacrificing few hours of sleep, I joined my mother for a walk among the various stands. The day was sunny and not too warm; after a ride among the flock of innumerable cars all slowly approaching the city center with their occupant, we reached the market area. The first stalls to welcome us were those of clothes, shoes and other bric-a-brac. After finalizing few errands, we entered the food area inside the old soccer stadium.

Stacked heaps of bright yellow melons in mountains towered toward the sky as a humbling homage to the sun up ahead. Fragrant peaches and the purple globes of eggplants were everywhere around us.

Sicilian Market

Small yellow pears and bright red nectarines were competing with vibrant green peppers in the visual palette. The nose was well entertained too. Wafts or pickled olives and spicy cheese filled the air.

Sicilian Market

Crates of local wild greens where flanked either by a vivid blue plastic vessel filled with snails that the vendor caught with the compliance of the last rains, or by few crates of fishes so fresh they were still jumping.

Sicilian Market

Baby fishes, fresh sardines and other poor men fishes were the promises of some traditional delicacy to be enjoyed under the shades of a pergola or under an umbrella on the beach.
The free form eggplants, the curly peppers spoke the truth of the land as did the rugged faces blackened by the sun of the old vendors.
I missed all of these.

This was also the week for the monthly Velveteers challenge and this time it was Asha who decided the topic. She went for fruit in a savory dish.
Not such a difficult task after all, mostly because I like to include fruits in my savory dishes; I had only to overcome the limited pantry at my disposal. It was sure that I wanted the dish to orbit around the local yellow peaches. Fleshy, firm, aromatic, juicy, these peaches symbolize at best the warm summer sun.

Yellow Peaches

This is what I came up with:

Crostini with spiced pork patty, celery cream and yellow peach

Crostini with spiced pork patty, celery cream and yellow peach

Ingredients (enough for 4-5 crostini):
  • 4-5 thin slices of country bread or baguette;
  • Butter;
  • 2 tsp finely minced celery;
  • 1/2tsp lemon juice;
  • 100g sausage meat;
  • 1/4tsp fennel seeds, crushed;
  • Black pepper, crushed;
  • 1 small yellow peach,
  • few ajovani seeds;
  • Olive oil;
  • salt.

Toast the bread slices in a little butter and oil till nicely browned and crisp.
In the meantime in a mortar, pound half of the celery with some oil to obtain a thick paste. Add now the lemon juice, some salt and the rest of the celery; pound again but do not crush the celery completely. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice as needed.
Mix the sausage meat with the fennell seeds and black pepper. Divide the mixture in patties the size of your bread slices and fry them in hot shallow skillet drizzled with some oil.
Cut the peach into slices, not too thin, and chop them into segments big enough to fit onto your bread slices.
When the sausage patties will be ready, slide them onto the toasted bread slices. Top the meat with some celery cream, few peach segments and complete with 1-2 ajovani seeds per crostino and a drizzle of olive oil.

Naturally this is not the only entry for this month's challenge, check what the other Velveteers came up with:
Aparna: Eggless Vegetable-Nut Loaf With A Sweet And Spicy Mango Jalapeño Sauce;
Asha: Pear Gelee with BBQ Short Ribs;
Ken: Skillet Roasted Sweet n Sour Pork;
Madhuli: Raw Banana Cutlets With Mixed Fruit Chutney;
Pamela: Green Papaya Curry.


  1. I can just imagine the taste of it. A very nice juicy combi. Well done. I miss home but I am home - just my very own home.

  2. Oh, Alessio. Oh! What a fabulous way to use peaches! I simply adore meat with fruit and yours is stunning and as creative as usual. And I wish I was in Sicily with you. Wonderful market photos!

  3. Ah! pork and peach! the perfect combination! nice work on the challenge Al :)

  4. Beautiful to the eye and the tongue!


  5. What a gorgeous post, Alessio! :-) Just love your market pictures and descriptions of Sicily. :-) It is my dream to visit there one day. :-)

  6. Nothing quite like home, eh? And then the smells. sights and sounds of the market as well!

    Can't say much about the dish (it does look good) as a vegetarian (;-D) but knowing how good you are at everything, this must be the same.

  7. Ben tornata ;) What a beautiful way to enjoy those juicy peaches! And I love love love the market fotos! Divertiti!

  8. WOW! Thats a wonderful way to use your peaches :o) Lovely blog post. Beautiful pictures of the market. xx

  9. I love fruit, either with a savoury dish or not. :) This looks very tasty. I'm glad you're enjoying your time at home.

  10. Alessio - as usual, you freaking astound me! I just read the title of this dish and I am floored! Really, really amazing. I hope we get the chance to meet before I leave Germany - I don't remember when you said you were coming back from Sicily, and I'm going to Croatia October 9th, but it would be such a shame if I couldn't pick your brain at least once :)

  11. It's a good looking, inspired dish that speaks a unique language - Sicilian of course.