10 July 2012

Tomatoes, Blueberries & Fennel Salad and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo at the Dolomites


I have been home since early Sunday morning, really early.  We left the Dolomites at half past five in the afternoon on Saturday and arrived in Rome at three in the morning on Sunday.  The highway in Florence was closed for 10 kilometers for works and we were sent to a detour that took two hours to go through compared to the 10 - 15 minutes that we should have taken it at the highway.   It was the longest trip we did to go home from there. 


I was only able to reacquaint myself with my bed when the sky was turning blue and when I was dead tired.   I promised myself that I will start unpacking the day after and will just put away the food I took home with me.  But I was kidding myself because after two hours of busying myself around the house, I was able to do a cycle of laundry and put away a quarter of the luggage contents.  Fortunately, the kids crawled to sleep as soon as we arrived.  The hamsters and fish settled down too but were obviously too hot with the change of temperature.  We did hear about the heat wave in Rome.  After a cool temperature in the alps, the heat was suffocating us. 


With the house almost back to normal but with mountains of clothes to iron, I am slowly gaining back my routinary momentum at home.   The kitchen is stocked up with food again and I am making some noises and mess again in the kitchen.   It is nice to be back home.


I have a simple salad recipe here that I put together while on vacation.  The food at the Dolomites, however good it is, makes me yearn for a simple salad of fresh ingredients.   I needed a break badly from a daily diet of meat and potatoes.  Truth be told, it was my first time to see yellow tomatoes and when I saw them in Austria, I didn't skip a beat in buying a pack.   I wish I tried it in the car first so I could have bought more because they were one of the sweetest tomatoes I have ever tried.  They are nowhere to be found in Italy.  Sigh.  

Rifugio Lavaredo
I mixed them with datterini tomatoes, another very sweet variety that is all over Italy.  Thank God!   A bulb of fennel and a handful of local wild blueberries that I kept on buying from the local vegetable shop.  I love them so much that I took home a few punnets too.  Yup, they are safely cooling in the fridge right now.   Be flexible with the varieties of tomatoes that you use.   These are the varieties that I had so they ended up in my bowl.  The fennel gave it a good crunch and the blueberries gave it a nice touch.  I thought it wouldn't go well with the tomatoes because the combination was a tad strange but they looked great together and they tasted well together.   This salad is a keeper.  I didn't put the quantities of the ingredients because they should depend on how you want your salad to be.



If you ask me what I think the most beautiful spot is at the Dolomites, I would answer you Tre Cime di Lavaredo.   For that reason, you would understand me for posting a lot of pictures at this post.  I tried to cut them down to a few but this is the most that I can do.  After all, I have more than 300 of them in my archive of this place alone.   It took my breath away because it's too beautiful to be real.  

The trail from Rifugio Auronzo to Rifugio Lavaredo.

The trails are wide and safe for kids (if you hang on to them from not falling on the sides).  For this reason, it is quite popular for tourists to arrive in busloads   It was my first time to hike with throngs of people and it was quite amusing with the odd mixture of seriously dressed hikers, rock climbers, bikers and tourists in city clothes (and even umbrellas to protect them from the sun!).   


There's a loop of three rifugi (mountain huts / refuges).  It's possible to take a car or even a bus until the first rifugio which Rifugio Auronzo at 2,330 meters high.  The private road that leads to this rifugio costs 22 Euros.  Slightly high but the trip was worth it.  The parking is immense and the walking trail to Rifugio Lavaredo at 2,344 meters high starts from here.   Then from there you can head to Rifugio Locatelli at 2,450 meters high. 


I hope you enjoyed the pictures of Tre Cime di Lavaredo.  The pictures came out great but it is still different to be in the middle of this scenery.  It's beautiful.  How many times did I say that?

I still have about a couple of posts to share from my trip.  I hope you enjoyed these two weeks of mountain-themed posts.  Have a good week!



Blueberries, Tomatoes & Fennel Salad

Ingredients:
Serves 2
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup wild blueberries
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped (leave some leaves for garnishing)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, fennel & blueberries together.
  2. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil & lemon juice.  
  3. Season with salt.


33 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos of Tre Cime, it looks absolutely breathtaking! Your salad looks perfect for the hot weather we're having this week. I love yellow tomatoes (one of my four plants is that variety!) and they are so sweet right off of the vine - it's hard for me to resist eating them all out of hand!

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    1. Lucky you to have these sweet yellow tomatoes! How I loved them. If I can't find them here, I think the best thing to do is plant them myself. Too late to plant them now. I'll keep it mind for next summer. Thanks Laura!

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  2. Beautiful photo from your trip- looks like some amazing hiking! I hope it cools down for you this week :-) I love the look of your salad, so fresh and pretty with all the colors, including those delicious yellow tomatoes, love them too;-)

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    1. You should have a lot of the yellow variety in the US. They're wonderful tomatoes! Thanks Patty!

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  3. Welcome back home!Stunning images of Dolomites. Looks like a great place to relax and enjoy!
    Your salad look very fresh and delicious! I love your presentation and pics, very tempting as always!

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    1. Thanks Sandra! It's great to be back home even if I am loaded with things to do. The vacation was wonderful. Mountain air is so good!

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  4. I have been sharing your posts with my husband so we can plan a trip to these parts someday. Thanks for taking us along on your vacation with you. I smile whenever you mention that your fish and hamsters came along, too. A true family trip!

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    1. I was actually thinking that you would be the perfect person to vacation at the Dolomites because of all your sports. It would be a perfect place for you and your husband. It is hilarious to travel with the fish and hamsters but they have to come along too! :-)

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  5. The Dolomites and surrounding topography is so unusual and seeing those mountain huts in the midst of such grandeur is breathtaking! After a few days of meat & potato meals, I crave a salad of fresh veggies, too. Delicious with blueberries!

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    1. After too much meat in the diet, our bodies crave for a simple plate of fresh salad. I still remember the feeling of having that first fork of tomatoes. Relieved! Thanks Priscilla!

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  6. Loving every moment of your trip to the Dolomites. Your photos are always wonderful visual treats and take us on a journey each time. Loving this salad and the simplicity. Welcome home and hope you are now rested. :-)

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    1. Thank you Lisa! It's so good to be home.

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  7. Love the mountain themed posts - the mountains are definitely my "thing". This salad looks wonderful. I love the addition of blueberries, I never would have thought to put them in.

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    1. I knew you're one of the people who would love the mountain-theme. Thanks Erin!

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  8. Welcome home Weng! You must have tons of laundry (haha!) but you have so many great memories! Thanks for sharing all these gorgeous pictures of places I've never been. It's been really wonderful experience to me!

    Now this is a lovely refreshing salad - I love fennel~~~!

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    1. Thank you Nami. It's good to be home. And yes! I have the Dolomites here over at my laundry containers!

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  9. One day I will make it to Italy. It's high on my list! Your photos transport me there for just a moment. We've been having a terrible heat wave as well so I sympathize. It really drains productivity.

    Your salad is beautiful. Full of color and fresh ingredients, just how I like them.

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    1. I cannot stay outside for a long time during the day for the heat. I hope it ends soon. With the heat, you tend to just hide inside an airconditioned room and not do anything that produces heat. :-) Thanks Jen!

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  10. Wow what a beautiful place. Your photos of the salad and mountains are beautiful. Thanks for sharing:)

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  11. Stunning photos! Your trip looks both so relaxing and adventurous. I'm not familiar with those types of tomatoes but I'm wondering if they are similar to some of the heirloom ones we get in the States. Very refreshing mix of flavors in that salad!

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    1. Val, I heard from fellow bloggers that they can be found in the States. Maybe the heirlooms ones. They are very sweet! You should try them.

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  12. wow, the photos are breath-taking. The views are absolutely spectacular! i'm so jealous right now, sitting here at my desk while dreaming of hiking in the Alps. I hope you'll share some more photos, because, yes, it is beautiful
    i love adding blueberries to salad, my latest addiction is blueberry and feta cheese. oh my!

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    1. It's nice to know that you also mix blueberries with your salad. I found it good and will do so again!

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  13. Beatutiful photos and post :). These mountains are so magnificent....

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  14. Rowena, this salad looks beautiful and I would not have thought to use blueberries but I bet it is wonderful. Always stunning photos of your trip. I can not wait to come to Italy and explore the beautiful country!!

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    1. Exploring Italy is a wonderful experience. I hope you do it too. Thanks Suzanne!

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  15. excellent salad - love the colours! beautiful photos of the Dolomites also!

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  16. Such a beautiful place...and this salad is just fantastic!

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I would love to read what you think!