Monday, April 15, 2013

Hummus and spring in Milan

After a week of rainy, cold weather the visitors of the yearly Salone del Mobile of Milan were blessed with absolutely beautiful weather for the closing week end, allowing them to leisurely stroll through the Fuori Salone attractions spread out all over the city under crisp blue skies, a warm sun and cool breeze.
For us it was a perfect excuse to get out our bikes and ride through the city to discover some of the new, fun ideas designers from all over the world came here to present.
Fuori Salone Lambrate Ventura
Food design at Fuori Salone Tortona
Fuori Salone Lambrate Ventura

Fuori Salone Lambrate Ventura
Fashion detail at Fuori Salone - note the Missoni giftwrap bow!

Personally I loved the Ogami notebooks made out of paper manufactured in Tawain and marketed under an Italian brand that is extracted from stone, or even better the byproducts of the cement industry.

It is wonderfully smooth to write on, it is recycled, it does not damage our forests and it is 100% waterproof!
Testing the furniture
Activities for children, Fuori Salone Lambrate Ventura

My tired kids sat on chairs all over the city made out of cardboard, wood, brass, plexiglass and more. They were good sports despite the constant walking and the crowds and enjoyed the perks of getting free soda, snacks and stickers all over town and seeing some fun installations.
Naviglio in Fiore

To make sure we didn't get too bored we also rode our bikes to the Naviglio in Fiore, the yearly flower fair on the Naviglio canal, where we walked along the canal in a multicolored sea of petals, leaves (and people).

It's all about soccer/football here in Italy!
Do you see the frogs?
 After that we took the kids to the Parco Magico di Primavera at the Giardini Pubblici. This included some rides that got us soaked, a life lesson in an enchanted forest about the importance of not wasting precious water and planting our own peas.
Parco Magico di Primavera, Giardini Pubblici di Porta Venezia
The enchanted tree telling us about the importance of not wasting water
Planting peas
All of this was washed down by a few cold beers, a Peruvian meal, an elefant ear (!) and some creations on sticks... but more about that another time.

Orecchia d'elefante: elefant ear Milanese veal cutlet
This is when picnic and aperitivo season starts here: spring is perfect to enjoy the outdoors, friends, a few drinks and some good finger food.

Talking about friends, one of mine just sent me an email requesting I post my hummus recipe. When we saw each other recently, she asked me for it and when I was getting ready to send her a link to my hummus post, I once again realized I was missing a basic, family favorite of ours on this blog!

If you, too, don't have a recipe handy, here is mine.

Before the recipe, if you want to scroll through past editions of the Salone del Mobile, go here.
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Ingredients (from Martha Stewart)
2 cans chickpeas
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 small cloves garlic
1 1/4 tsp salt
olive oil to garnish
paprika or cayenne pepper to garnish

Drain the chickpeas, setting aside up to 1/2 a cup of liquid. Put the chickpeas and about 1/4 of their liquid in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, the tahini, the garlic cloves and the salt. Blend until smooth. Add more of the liquid you set aside if needed. Serve in a bowl with a good drizzle of best quality olive oil and garnish with paprika or cayenne pepper for a bit of color. Serve with cut and cleaned vegetables (carrots, celery etc.) and/or pita bread, crackers etc.


  1. Looks like a beautiful day. I also just posted my Hummus Recipe because I realized I had never posted it (and make it quite often) - YUM, so good

    1. Hi Rachel, loved the look of yours and all those suggestions for additions.

  2. I'm super excited looking at all of these beautiful images because I'm heading to Italy this year! :D

  3. Everyone needs a good hummus recipe up their sleeve. I read that Sara from Sprouted Kitchen puts roasted shallot in hers and now I usually include either roasted shallot or garlic. This simple version looks very delicious too :-)

    1. Love the idea of roasted garlic (or shallot)...must give a whole new depth of flavor. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Glad to hear it's warming up for you. It must be wonderful to go out after hibernating all winter. Your hummus looks great xx

  5. Wow beautiful scenery everywhere! And your hummus recipe sounds really good. I love how you presented it with beautiful swirl too. :)


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