At the Salone del Gusto I always discover new things from places I’ve never been. That’s not surprising. Raisins from Afganistan? Snails from Campania? But one of the things I love about the Salone is the chance to find out more about the things I already know about.
For instance, there are these incredible tomatoes we always eat in when we go down to Bari (Domenico is from Bari). They look like cherry tomatoes, and they sell them in the markets all summer long. But if you pop one into your mouth you’ll find they have a very tough skin. Very intense flavor, but tough, tough skin. Well, at least that’s what I did the first time I saw one. Then my mother-in-law enlightened me. “Those are for cooking!” Well, how was I supposed to know?
So now, whenever we go down to Bari I always come back with a long string of these pomodorini. But I always wondered how they stayed together in their little bunches. I know that they used thread to do it, but the mechanism escaped me.
Yesterday at the Salone the mystery was revealed. Watch these women (in local costumes no less) string up these tomatoes. I’m glad I took this video since there hands were moving so quickly I could barely see what they were doing. It’s almost like they are crocheting or knitting them together. Watch closely or you’ll miss it!
1 kilo of Cima di Rape (broccoli rabe)
8 pomodorini appesi (or cherry tomatoes)
3 Tablspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
Wash and clean the broccoli.
Put olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all the vegetables. Add garlic and tomatoes. Let cook a few minutes. Then throw in the broccoli. Add a bit of water, just enough to help wilt the vegetables (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup). Add salt.
Cover and let cook till quite tender. Up to half hour.
To serve lift out of their liquid. This dish is served as a first course in Puglia.
**Even though the liquid left in the pot is not considered part of the dish, I always save it for myself and slurp it up before doing the dishes!