Friday, January 20, 2012

Ortensia Blu and a Recipe, too.

Hi, Everybody ~ I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine. Laney is a Connecticut gardener who recently combined her 3 great passions ~ gardening, cooking, and the wonders of Italy. Her online store ~ Ortensia Blu ~ sells gourmet goodies imported from Italy.  I'm always on the prowl for fab Italian recipes so I invited her to do a guest blog post and share a favorite recipe with us. Buon Appetito!

'Ortensia Blu' means blue hydrangea.
{From Laney} Gardeners and cooks have a lot in common ~ we enjoy working with our hands, we're tantalized by the scents and fragrances in our gardens. It takes patience and time until we can celebrate our finished product. I’ve found that there’s a huge crossover between gardening and cooking – with many of us wearing and enjoying both hats (preferably brimmed straw ones!)

Ortensia Blu is the fruits of my labor. A new online store that brings together Italian specialty food products I’ve had a great time sourcing in Italy, plus recipes I get a thrill out of creating and preparing for my family.

What started it all is a simple blue hydrangea, which in Italian is called ortensia blu.

True blue Hydrangeas prefer acid soil, turning pink and purple in western alkaline soil.
Actually I have a yard full of blue hydrangeas ~ my most favorite flower that I’ve planted and nurtured every place that I’ve lived. Aside from ones bought at the garden center or even the grocery store, many of them were gifts, since planted in the garden with fond memories of the givers.

I live in a part of the country where hydrangeas grow beautifully in the summer and I’ve turned some of the lovely white and pink ones to a gorgeous blue by adding aluminum sulfate to the soil. Kate says my soil here is more acidic which is why blue grows so well. I planted white ones a few years ago that I’ve kept pure and pristine, though they have the slightest hint of blue in the center so I guess Kate is right.

Pink and purple hydrangeas ~ as well as yellow, red, orange, white and all the shades in between of the many other plants, flowers and shrubs complete the color palette of my garden.

As much as I love all of the colors I see, my heart beats just a little faster and my mind calms a bit more when I gaze out at my beautiful ortensie blu.

I’m not too much of an indoor gardener so I have to wait several months until my hydrangeas bloom. In winter, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So, I thought I’d share one of my recipes with you that’s simple to prepare, smells amazing, looks terrific and tastes fabulous.

Click here to find more recipes at Ortensia Blu.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Every year I wonder why I don't have a hydrangea. Really like the paniculata and oakleaf ones, me.

Cynthia said...

Are you able to actually get a blue hydrangea with our alkaline soils?

If you are wanting to see green, you should go to the UNLA trade show Tues-Wed at the South Towne Expo. It's geared to contractors etc. but there will be nurseries, displays and plants from all over. Green, vibrant plants. In January!

scottweberpdx said...

I think you're probably right about the similarities between gardeners and cooks...they both take a certain, nurturing temperament, don't they. That recipe sounds delish!

Janie said...

Hydrangeas are spectacular flowers. I love the blue color.
The recipe looks delicious.

Yael said...


The blue hydrangeas are beautiful. The recipe sounds yummy too.

I'd like to find more room for hydrangeas in my yard.


Anthonia said...

We’re talking signature steaks, fresh seafood, and all kinds of gourmet specialty items the likes and quality of which you will not find in any grocery store. Gourmet Secrets provides the finest food, and the finest quality, to your door for you to enjoy at your leisure, when you want it to be. What we have to make this happen is a unique shopping concept that is unlike anything the grocers have come up with yet.