Umbrian Olive Oil: Casa Margherita

As I was writing the last piece on olive oil, Adrian, a friend from my London days, contacted me about his new cookbook. He now lives in Umbria in an organic olive orchard, and has chronicled his experiences into his book, Casa Margherita Cookbook—CUOCO—Recipes Inspired by Umbria’s Larder. The book features recipes from local towns with an emphasis on their signature foods: Perugia’s chocolate, Cascia’s saffron, Trevi’s olive oil. Photos below show layouts from the book, which includes personal photos and insights into the Italian lifestyle. The book can be purchased directly from the website, for about $15. Or, while you are at the website you might want to adopt an olive tree (around $105) which gets you: a gift box with tin of extra virgin olive oil, certificate and olive oil handbook; a copy of Cuoco; and at harvest time, 2 litres of extra virgin olive oil from your very own tree. See the recipe for salt cod fritters below from the book. It could be the perfect antipasto to serve to your next guests.

Serves 4
8 oz salt cod (baccalà) soaked overnight in lots of unsalted water with the bones removed and then shredded in a food processor
2 oz flour
oil for frying
In a mixing bowl add the flour and salt and mix well. Take a tablespoon of salt cod and form a pattie with your hands and dust well in the flour. Deep fry these in batches in hot oil until they are golden brown.

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