Book Review: Bitter Honey
What is there not to love about Mediterranean food? It is filling, healthy, usually simple to make from fresh ingredients, and easy to pair with wine (just pick the local wine of the region, and you’re good). So we were excited to take a journey via Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia by Letitia Clark. Sardinia doesn't get the love Sicily does, but its history as a Spanish territory and current Italian state, as well as its isolation and past subsistence existence, gives it a story unlike any other.
Most enjoyable about Clark’s book was how immersive it was. The photography is first-rate. Clark embraces Sardinia’s unhurried culture to feature recipes centered by food around the communal table. Mediterranean food at its heart is peasant fare, and the recipes exhibit how best to provide a maximum amount of flavor from a small amount of ingredients. There are ample and tasty vegetarian recipes. Most of the recipes are six ingredients or less. Dishes such as “Pork Cooked in Milk with Cloves” and “Baked Chicken with Citrus, Fennel, and White Wine” are easy to make and will create a unique main dish at your next dinner party. Never underestimate the power of peasant fare to satisfy your guests.
Here is a recipe from the Book, perfect for January when blood oranges will be widely available.
Campari and Blood Orange Granita (serves 4)
¾ cup caster or superfine sugar
Zest of one blood orange
6 tablespoons Campari
1 ¾ cups of blood orange
Juice of 1 lemon
In small saucepan, combine sugar, zest, and Campari until dissolved. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat. Add blood orange and lemon juice, taste and adjust as needed. Pour in shallow container, removing a couple of times after an hour or so to scrape with a fork.