Mari’s Kitchen

Alberica’s Cloud Egg

Alberica, our “Mama” in the breakfast kitchen at Postignano, surprised us every morning with different egg dishes. 

One of the most spectacular one was her “Uovo Nuvola”

Here’s the recipe:

  • Foam an egg white till firm
  • Butter a ceramic or aluminium small pan (see here)
  • Fill it to the edge with the beaten egg white, molding a little space to put the yolk in
  • Put the yolk in and cover it with the remaining egg white, shaping it like a balloon
  • Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 6 to 10 minutes – depending on the oven – until it is brownish and hard.

 Bon Appétit!

Salmon Dip

Our dear friends from Montreal, Colleen and Mirko Wicha, shared an unforgettable evening with us. These great wine collectors (who have a special passion for Burgundy wines) invited us to what they called a “strategic” wine tasting. This is a short way of describing a method of introducing wines and tastes that provided perspective and insight. Colleen created homemade appetizers to accompany the wines. I was impressed by each taste, but felt compelled to share this recipe, especially because Mirko had caught the salmon himself in the waters off the Canadian coast. Another reason: it’s easy and fun!


  • Salmon (a single serving) baked, fresh, skin removed
  • ½ container of cream chees
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon horseradish (or even wasabi, if that is easier for you to obtain)
  • Lemon juice from ½ a lemon
  • A sprig of basil, bits of fresh red chili pepper, and green onion to decorate
  • A dash of hot sauce – if you like


Remove all skin from salmon and add to the cream mixture stirring gently to keep the salmon as chunky as possible. And that’s it!


Iranian Eggplant & Yogurt Dip

I enjoy the simplicity and speed of preparing this Iranian appetizer, which I got the recipe from a book called “Cuisine de Perse” (The Cooking of Iran) by Neda AfrashiWe love Iranian food. It is slow food. Unlike some cuisines, which rely on fat and/or spices to add flare, Iranian food is almost non-fat, and not spicy, and yet requires needs attention and time for cooking. Kent, in particular, enjoys the crusty rice. Kent loves the crusty rice dish, which often accompanies a meal. Luckily for us, we have many good Iranian friends in both Paris and in San Francisco and have enjoyed many delicious meals in their homes. This is why, for the first time in my life, I dedicated two days to a cooking project –an Iranian banquet.


    • Small eggplants – 3 or 4, around 1 pound
    • Greek Yoghurt – about 10 ounces
    • Garlic – 5 cloves (the fresher the garlic, the better the taste)


      • Preheat Oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 Celsius)
      • Wash and dry the eggplants, make a few holes using a fork or chopstick.
      • Grill the eggplant in the broiler or over a flame, turning every few minutes until tender inside (the skin darkens)
      • Take eggplant from the oven, let it cool and peel the skin
      • Squeeze in a bowl; mix with yogurt until it becomes creamy.
      • Peel and crush the garlic and mix it into the eggplant and yogurt.
      • Let it sit for at least 1 hour or, if possible, one day for the flavors to develop.
      • Serve with fresh Iranian Bread

      I suggest not having an important meeting after eating this dish, as the raw garlic is strong, but delicious!

      Asparagus with a Port Aioli

      Created by Orford Festival leader, Jean François Rivest

      Jean Francois Rivest, the conductor and great chef in Orford. gave me a home-style recipe for a distinctive asparagus dipping sauce. He served it as part of a lunch he hosted for us at his summer home on his terrace overlooking Lake Orford. It was interesting to see how he executed such an elegant lunch in the middle of his workday. It included chilled asparagus, duck, and a fine selection of cheeses and chocolates, and served with a beautiful wine. It was perfect for a hot summer day.

      I thought the French-Canadian sensibility of the asparagus dish would be fun for my friends in other countries. For me, it is an easy way to have an elegant and healthy appetizer-style snack because I can prepare it the morning of an event and have it ready-to-go when guests arrive.

      Here is how he described it to me.


      • 60% mayonnaise (good quality, even better if it is home-made)
      • 40% port wine (preferably something like late bottle vintage but it shouldn’t be a very costly vintage)
      • Some garlic, chopped fine (about 1 teaspoon)
      • Ginger (about 1 teaspoon)
      • Asparagus (large stalks)


      Mix the above ingredients. Add a pinch of Fleur de Sel (or your preferred salt) and fresh-ground black pepper only just before serving. Steam asparagus lightly, dip in cold water before the asparagus has finished cooking. Dry and seal in plastic in the refrigerator until just before it is served. Serve with warm baguette, to which the guests can add butter*. Jean Francois also recommends this dish with Chablis.

      *The butter was yet-another highlight of the lunch. He used a delicious French butter, Beurre de Bretagne, which he keeps preserved using an upside down butter dish that includes water to keep out the air and therefore preserves the as it would be in the refrigerator, even on a hot day.

      Summer “Diamond” Watermelon

      One of the simplest desserts I know is also one of my favorites – watermelon served Japanese style. I have wonderful memories of visiting Japan in the summer and being served pyramid-style slices that are cut on angles. I imagine myself cutting diamonds as I use different angles with the knife to cut small, almost bite-sized pieces.


      Cut a watermelon into long slices, as shown in this photo series.


      Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

      Thank you for Amy’s Healthy Baking for sharing a recipe enjoyed by our family. It became the snack we enjoy all day long.It is healthy, easy to make and delicious!


          • 1 cup (100g) instant oats
          • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free flour
          • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
          • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
          • ¼ tsp salt
          • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
          • 1 large egg, room temperature
          • 1 tsp vanilla extract
          • ¼ cup (60mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
          • ¼ cup (60mL) nonfat milk, room temperature
          • ¼ cup (40g) raisins

          I soak the raisins in white/red wine or Champagne for few hours and to replace the egg, I use 1 Tbs of Chia seed in 3 Tbs of Water


                • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the maple syrup and milk. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Gently fold in the raisins. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
                • Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
                • Drop the cookie dough into 15 rounded scoops onto the prepared sheet, and flatten to the desired thickness and width with a spatula. Bake at 325°F for 10-13 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

                  You can also find it online at Amy’s Healthy Baking Blog.