How to plan a great menu

#Menu of the day!!!!!!!

For every Tuscany cooking class we organise, a lot of thought goes into the daily menu.

There are several things we must consider when planning to cook a full meal in Tuscany.

Cooking in Tuscany, and Italy generally, the first consideration is the season. Italian recipes are very seasonal, making great use of the delicious, fresh produce oftentimes collected straight out of the garden or bought from the fresh food markets direct from the farmers themselves.

A great menu should take into account preparation times of the individual dishes, so you don’t get stuck stirring a pot of bechamel whilst a dish you’re baking is turning to coal in the oven.

Good Italian meals will have several vegetables mixed in with the recipes, even if you don’t notice.  A good trick to make sure you’re getting enough veg in your meal is think in colours – if everything is the same colour, then it is likely you’re not getting a wide range of nutrients. Try to eat a rainbow – a bit of red, some green, some yellow. And if you are desperate for something blue, you can always make panna cotta with blueberry sauce!

And once you’ve cooked your grand Italian menu and you’re all set for a delicious lunch in Tuscany, the next trick is getting to end of all those wonderful traditional dishes without bursting! The secret is smaller portions, and not taking any second helpings along the way. You can always come back for more, you can’t go back for less.

So those are just some considerations and tips for planning a great menu and enjoying it as we do in our Tuscany cooking classes.