This week we’re introducing Mel’s giardineria (Italian for “from the garden”) which has become our favorite thing to have on hand. Our version of this classic Italian relish is loaded with cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions and olives in a punchy oil and red wine vinegar marinade with garlic and oregano. Pick out the crunchy vegetables to load on a rich sandwich or top your roast chicken. Pour the marinade from the jar over leftover grains, pasta or roast vegetables. Chop it up finer to garnish your pizza. Sear the baby artichokes from the produce box (or use canned artichokes squeezed as dry as possible) and incorporate them into the mix for an easyish artichoke escabeche to have with garlic rubbed toast and burrata. I just can’t stop. So I also asked Mel to make another round of tuna conserva, sous vide albacore tuna steaks gently cooked in seasoned olive oil, which I’m going to eat with some gardineria. 

Locally made frozen pizzas from La Morra are back. These Neapolitan-inspired pies are made with a naturally leavened dough that’s hand-stretched and wood-fired, with a crispy, blistered crust to prove it. We’re selling their Margherita, pepperoni, and vegan pie with marinated artichokes, pickled guindilla peppers, taggiasca olives, and plum tomatoes. You simply need to bake them in a 475º oven for 8-10 minutes. 

We’re also making another round of our classic Italian meatballs with grass-fed beef and ground pork, packed in sauce and ready to heat and serve or freeze. Make a meatball sub on some Bub and Grandma’s ciabatta bread or jumbo baguette. Add some burrata or ricotta from Gioia Cheese Company in South El Monte. (I also love the meatballs and GIoia cheeses on the vegan pizza.)

Our new neighborhood friends at Ceci’s Gastronomia (Silverlake’s spot for prepared, handmade, authentic Italian food) are making another round of zucchine alla parmigiana, thinly sliced and grilled zucchini baked with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and parmesan. This is a delicious vegetable side dish and gluten free as is, but also great sandwiched in some ciabatta bread.

For proteins we have whole free range chickens and Ora King salmon. We’re also getting Bianco DiNapoli canned tomatoes, tubes of Mutti’s tomato paste, grass-fed ground beef, Peads and Barnetts’ ground pork, and Italian sausages. You could do a million different things with these ingredients, but a pot of bolognese is what we had in mind. We have Rustichella’s casareccia pasta, to serve with your bolognese, or our meatballs or fresh pesto. And we’re getting another wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for at least two years by Giorgio Cravero, a fifth-generation affineur. This superior parmesan is good enough to eat before or after your meal, but you could and should put some on your dinner as well. 

This week’s box will hopefully have baby artichokes, escarole and broccolini, as well as English and sugar snap peas and green garlic which I load in my pasta primavera.

For something sweet, we have a couple of special things to spread on a slice of Proof’s buttery brioche. Our friends at Forage are making a batch of strawberry jam with Tomai Farm’s gaviota strawberries. We’re also getting jars of Il Colle Del Gusto’s Noccioliva, a silky smooth dark chocolate and toasted hazelnut spread with extra virgin olive oil. And for dessert, Ceci’s is also making us some tiramisu so we can keep it Italian from start to finish.

Molto bene!