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Alessi cuisine



"The garden of Adone": erotic seduction salad.

("Il giardino di Adone": insalata della seduzione erotica)

Ingredients, their properties and characteristics:

  • A) The dressing:
    flavoured vinegar of red wine (the colour of "eros")
    extra virgin (what's more exciting than virginity?) olive oil (you can prepare one bottle of vinegar and one bottle of oil and use them any time you need them); table salt.
    Vinegar: remove some vinegar from the bottle and put inside, to marinate at least one week and shaking twice a day, 10 leaves of basil, two small branches of rosemary, 10 leaves of sage.
    Oil: remove some oil from the bottle and put inside, to marinate at least one week and shaking twice a day, 3 peeled and beaten garlic cloves, 3 crumbled hot chilli peppers (diavolicchi). These maceration of aromatic herbs in dressings have the aim to render them tasty and to integrate their natural qualities as to transform them in a whole which results: intestinal antiseptic; cardiotonic; "corticosurrenale" stimulant. The perfect whole for this salad!
  • B) The salads:
    lettuce, white "grumolo" cut into very thin strips (sweet, milky/frigid, damp)
    lattughino" - the entire small leaves (sweet, sour, milky/frigid, temperate damp)
    curly endive - the white leaves finely cut (bitter, milky/cold, damp)
    'smerlato" - the cut leaves (bitter/cold, dry)
    chicory - the new leaves cut, but just a little bit (bitter/frigid, dry).
  • C) The herbs:
    "spinacina" - the entire leaves (fat herb, prickly/cold, dry)
    "acetosa" - the cut leaves (persuasive/frigid, dry)
    "borragine" - the cut leaves (particular, cucumber - like/hot, damp)
    "carciofina" - the cut leaves (bitter, sour/hot, dry)
    "ruchetta" - the entire leaves (spicy, aromatic, sour/warm, dry).
  • D) The seasoning:
    "dragoncello" - the entire leaves (characteristic, strong, prickly/hot, dry)
    "aneto" - the leaves of soft small branches (characteristic, sweet-sour, anise-like/hot, dry)
    "salvastrella" - the small leave and the tender small branches (sour, hot, dry)
    lemon balm - the entire leaves (lavender-like, sweet, prickly, intense/hot, dry)
    mint - the entire leaves (characteristic, intense/hot, dry).
Take some appropriate salad bowls, one for each table companions, and put inside them, layer on layer, in the order they have been mentioned (starting, of course, from point A) on the bottom of the salad bowl), the salads, herbs and seasoning, positioning them with care and softly, in order to have each layer redundant and with the borders not perfectly defined. Then take a small bowl and put inside 2 small spoons of salt, 8-9 spoons of aromatic vinegar and, with a fork, beat very well until all the salt will be completely melted. Then with a spoon, sprinkle uniformly with this stuff the various salad bowls. Let marinate these salad compositions for about 4-5 minutes and then dress each salad bowl with a reasonable amount of aromatic oil and serve. This kind of salad should not be turned, it must be eaten in a vertical sequence, starting from the mint (seasoning) to the lettuce, following the vegetable itinerary of Adone (the ancient, mythical Greek god) in the passing by his myth. The myth of the erotic seduction.
It is a long time that the Western Europe tradition hands down the month of August as the month of breaking and erotic licence; "...ora che Sirio dissecca il capo e le ginocchia ... le donne son piene di desiderio..." as highlighted by Alceo di Lesbo (Greek poet, contemporary of Saffo). In this period of the year (under the constellation of "dog"), in past times, the "Adoniadi" were celebrated; these were orgiastic and licentious parties in honour of Adone to celebrate his myth. For this reason, as I am a "ad voluptates propensus" cook, I have decided to start the recipes of August with the "Garden of Adone", which is a composite salad made with herbs and seasoning of great freshness and stimulating tastiness, in order to highlight the topicality of this charming myth, rendering it palpable, also in the modern and industrialized societies. The bloodless humanity, devitalized by the strong use of technology, de-sensualized by the standardization in tastes, made boring by the false and illusory levelling democracy, considers the research of sensual pleasure as a coarse and wicked activity, forgetting that "Eros is kosmogonos" (Carl Gustav Jung) and that "the eroticism is very near to life, more than philosophy, it is creative energy and universal power" (Marcel Duchamp - artist and prophet of an intellectual aesthetics). So that we should consider vulgar and lacking of creative imagination anybody who is not able to reach such "heights" of the human sensibility and confuses "eroticism" with "pornography".

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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