A piadina (plural: piadine) is a flatbread made from flour, lard, and milk or water, stuffed with salumi (prosciutto, mortadella, etc.), cheese and vegetables (such as arugula and tomatoes) and then toasted, from the region of Romagna. If you can find squacquerone, that is the regional cheese that is used for piadine. Without the stuffing, piadine are very similar to wheat flour tortillas, but they are thicker.
They are traditionally made with lard, rendered pork fat, but the lard can be substituted with vegetable oil. The lard does lend an additional flavor to the piadine and make them more traditional, so use it if you can. Traditionally piadine are cooked on a terracotta dish called teggia, but any frying pan that holds heat well will work.
I discovered piadine for the first time in an Autogrill, the most common chain of food joints along the Italian autostrade (toll roads). In Emilia-Romagna, they are mostly sold by street vendors. Because they are toasted, they will taste fresh even if the stuffed piadina has been on display for a couple of hours.
We went out on the river with our boat to pick up a new generator and hoist it onto the boat. As usual, I went along not for the technical stuff but to provide food 🙂 The wood-fired stove in the boat was perfect to make piadine, making them extra rustic. The piadine were a big success and it was a good thing that I had brought additional ingredients so I could make another batch.
Piadine are easy to make and great as a snack, for lunch, or an informal dinner. Stuffed with good quality Italian salumi and cheese, they are very tasty indeed.
500 grams (3 1/3 cups) flour
100 grams (3.5 oz) lard, at room temperature
2 grams (1/2 tsp) baking soda
6 grams (3/4 tsp) salt
240 ml (1 cup) milk or water, at room temperature
Two typical Dutch ingredients are smoked eel and celeriac (aka celery root). In Dutch cooking, they are sometimes combined in celeriac soup with smoked eel. I thought it would be worth trying some Dutch-Italian fusion and make a smoked eel and celeriac risotto. Smoked eel is a delicacy because it melts on your tongue and has a very nice full flavor. It combines well with the earthy flavor of the celeriac.