Salento Sunshine

puglia-produce

From left to right: capers, tomato chilli conserve, mixed seeds, dried basil, dried oregano and sun dried tomatoes.

It’s been a few weeks now and I’m still pining over the Salento sunshine and all of the incredible produce it gives light to. The daily drive to the beach, through olive groves and farmland, made you do a double take to make sure the rich, red, chunky soil was actually real and not just your sunglasses deceiving you. Touch the soil and it’s so unbelievably soft, warm and powdery its no wonder the food tastes so damn good. The daily gasps on spotting this red soil continued for the duration of our holiday. Fields of giant ripe melons ready to be guzzled, pomegranate trees with their fruit hanging so low you could reach them from the car window, roadside lines of prickly pears with their paddles proudly presenting the tinged orange fruit which were screaming to be picked – harvest time here must be never-ending! My dad gleefully telling me ‘Gabriella you can grow anything in Salento! You just throw a few seeds down with water and before you know it you have a tree’

September is a great time to visit Salento. The festival season is still going strong, the sea is incredibly warm and the produce is plentiful. It’s also time for people to finish the last of their summer preserving. And therefore a great time for of us as we got to bring home lots of homegrown goodies!

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It might be harder to make the beautiful sundried preserves here in the UK, but what we can do is dry herbs. It so easy and means your garden herbs don’t go to waste.

Ingredients

A bunch of herbs of your choice

Method

  1. Freshly pick your herbs from the garden. Bunch together, tie with some string and hang up to dry.
  2. Once dried (this will take a few months) pick the dried leaves off and store in an airtight jar.

dried-sage dried-basil

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