Doesn’t seem like it at all! While down by the sea locals are still having their daily swim at Masseria Torre Coccaro we are keeping all our outdoor spaces open and cosy until temperatures won’t finally fall a bit. Lush Flowers are flourishing in the gardens all around the masseria, our vegetable garden is full of ripe fennel, eggplant, broccoli and fresh spices. Taking a long stroll before sunset is the nicest thing to do these days, topped only by the services of our barman Camillo. For tonight’s aperitivo he is preparing mozzarella and tomato sticks, crispy mini toasts with a drop of fresh olive oil, spicy ricotta and dried tomato, crunchy almonds and a selection of homemade pickles, preferably to go with a glass of prosecco or chilled white wine and, for those who can’t do without, Michael Bublés beautiful Xmas Compilation to sing and swing along. Low season? We’d say this is the best time of the year!
Even at Masseria Torre Coccaro we can’t ignore it any longer. So Dominga and Laura prepared the famous Coccaro Xmas tree this morning, right in front of Natale’s bar, just like every year. You can tell by the glow in their eyes that it was more than just pure duty… And what shall I say? They did a fabulous job! Why don’t you drop by for an aperitivo or some pre-Xmas-dinner these days and take a look…?
Here’s what Cosimo, our head chef at Coccaro Beach Club, suggests for a casual winter feast at your place: Panzerotti, come kind of fried calzone, puglia style, is his favorite dish whenever he has friends over. The more the better, he says – so the party can start while preparing the food. Each one of your guests can choose his own filling, give advice or even a helping hand. To go with your panzerotti we are suggesting a cool beer or a glass of red wine. Enjoy!
Traditional “Panzerotti” Fried with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
For the pastry: For the filling:
500 g flour 350 g mozzarella
15 g yeast 100 g peeled tomatoes
50 g olive oil
15 g salt
250 g water
oil for frying
Spread the flour on a board over a work surface, crumble the yeast, add a little warm water, add the oil and the salt and begin to make the dough by adding enough warm water to create medium consistency. For the filling: Chop the mozzarella into small pieces, add the tomatoes chopped up into tiny pieces, cheese and a pinch of salt. Cut the dough into circles, roll it out with the rolling pin to obtain a thin layer which is a fraction of an inch thick. Put a spoonful of the filling in the middle and a blob of hot ricotta cheese on top. Close it in half moon shape and seal it well. Fry it in hot boiling oil until golden brown.
Finally fall in Puglia! One of the most beautiful seasons in the South of Italy, especially for the intense colours, fresh frutis like prickley pears or vegetables like brokkoli growing just about everywhere. The days are getting shorter: The sun sets around 5 pm, offering tremendous sunsets on the hills towards the Itria Valley. We recommend to go on one of our guided gourmet bike tours to explore the beautiful lush fields or one of the fishing villages around the masserias. Our bikes are ready: Just check with our reception desk, they’ll tell you all the whereabouts.
Here’s what our Masseria Torre Coccaro chef Leo proposes as his own favorite Lobster recipe. Mediterranean Style, juicy & fresh, with lime, basil, carrots and sweet cherry tomatoes. Something to definitely try at home! (recipe for 2)
Mediterranean Style Lobster
Lobster 500 g
1 large onion
10 Cherry Tomatoes
20g Pickled Olives
4 Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 50 g
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
Fill a high pot with cold water (about 5 liters). Add a pinch of salt, carrots and potatoes peeled and cut into pieces. Boil for 5 minutes, add the celery cut into small pieces and allow to boil for another 5 minutes, then add the onion coarse touches. Cook until the potatoes are soft, then, with the aid of a sieve, remove the vegetables and place them in a salad bowl. Season with olive oil, chopped tomatoes, capers, basil, olives, lemon juice and salt. Cook the lobster in the vegetables cooking water for about 15 minutes,
then cut it in half and serve with the dressing already prepared.