Olives. Because we have 500 olive trees on our land in Tuscany, I’ll be writing a lot about that magical elixir we press from our groves every October. Although in Tuscany, almost all olives are used for oil, they’re still essential to Tuscan cooking. With drinks, rather than just piling them in a bowl, it’s nice to bake them with some citrus peel, roasted garlic and a douse of good olive oil.
It’s as much fun to set the table as it is to cook. I like to match the decor in spirit to the food that will be forthcoming. Usually, I favor simple and surprising table decorations, with nothing to block the conversation. Here are two Christmas tables. The red rose one was at my house, the other at Busatti in Anghiari, Tuscany. www.busatti.com