An incontaminated region and skilled hands make Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Lucania (EVOO) one of the best and genuine product of this little part of Italy, since the times of Magna Graecia. I have some experience with the production of olive oil since my granparents had a small olive grove in the hills surrounding Rapolla, Read More →

The cruski (pronounced crussh-ki) peppers of Senise (Basilicata), probably arrived with the Spanish from the Antilles, are a source of pride for the cuisine of the region, a surprise for those who discover them, an essential confirmation for those who know them already. The peppers are harvested from July until September when they reach a deep red color. After harvesting, the peppers are strung into large garlands decorating the streets of city centers. After 30 days drying, they are ready to eat, so…

Just fry cruski peppers of Senise in extra virgin olive oil until the skin becomes deep brick red with a soft leather!

Take a few seconds in hot oil and enjoy the crunchy and the savoury of these excellent snack and appetizer.

Simple dish, simple flavor of simple people of Basilicata…simple way to get luck and live for a long time…

“A la scquagliata r’ la nev’ s’ scummoglijn’ li strunzl’” (dialect of Lucania)

“When the snow melts, it becomes water.”
Sooner or later the truth comes out.

“Au mal zappator, n’ sciuna zapp li piac’” (dialect of Lucania)

“To bad digger doesn’t like no hoe.”

This saying from Lucania alludes to the fact that the sluggard will not work in any conditions.

“Mazz e panell, fann i fegl’ bell.” (dialect of Lucania)

or “Spanking and sweets make the children grow!”

This saying from Lucania teaches us how education, even a strict one, is important to build our character.

bruschetta (garlic bread)

In Lucania, to celebrate the first olive oil of the season, they make this simple bruschetta, a simply grilled bread, rubbed with a garlic clove, drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil you have, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt. You won’t believe how great it is! Taste it washed down with a good glass of chilled wine!

Difficulty: easy – Preparation time: 2 min
Cooking time: 5 min – Cost: very low

1 loaf bakery bread
2 whole garlic cloves
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt

Slice the bread into 1 inch slices. Grill on each side.

Take a clove of garlic and rub it against the crusty surface of the slices. If the slices have been properly grilled, the garlic will wear down in seconds, like you were rubbing it against sand paper.
Add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the slices.
Season with coarse sea salt.

endive, cruski peppers and chickpeas

Just endive, cruski peppers and chickpeas.

A wonderful and simple dish in Lucania. Economic recipe with simple ingredients but tasty and full-bodied, suitable for cold days!

Difficulty: low – Preparation time: 15 min – Cooking time: 25 min – Serves: 4 people – Cost: very low

Ingredients: 1 head of endive – 2 cruski peppers – 2/3 cup boiled chickpeas – 2 cloves of garlic – 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – parsley – salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: In a large pot put garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Add the endive cut into large pieces. Cook for a 5 minutes, until it is wilted. Then add the chickpeas and cruski peppers finely chopped. A pinch of salt, pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for at least 20 minutes. Now enjoy on toasted bread!