Florentine Kitchens: Chiara Brandi

chiara brandi photo
Photo credit: Chiara Brandi

Chiara Brandi is the blogger behind Forchettina Giramondo and a PR and media strategist for several Florence-based food businesses. She started the blog in January 2012, right after the birth of her son Alberto, as a way of documenting her passion for travel and food. What I like about her style is that it’s unfussy and practical, with lots of information on eating out abroad and easy recipes. On her blog, Chiara discovers food through travel, which makes her cooking a cool fusion of international dishes and local ingredients.

Chiara lives in Florence with her family and loves the city, which she describes as livable and timeless. As a proud Florentine, she works on various Florence-oriented projects, including being a contributor to QualitaMagazine, a newly launched web magazine, whose aim is to help small artisan food businesses emerge.

When Foods of Florence asked her about her favorite Florentine restaurant, Chiara mentioned Trattoria Fratelli Briganti for their popular spaghettini al pomodoro fresco (spaghetti with fresh tomatoes) and frittura dell’aia (a combination of fried vegetables and meats). “I like the place because it seems to be sitting in grandma’s kitchen,” she said.

Chiara travels extensively and, when home, she often gets the craving for the fabulous food she ate on the road. Unfortunately, Florence is not particularly known for its ethnic foods. There are, however, a few great options – she recommends heading to Dioniso if you are in the mood for Greek, to Aji Tei for Japanese.

Today, Chiara shares with us her recipe for Insalata del Contadino (“farmer’s salad”), a simple salad of crisp romaine with fresh pecorino cheese and fava beans, a dish that embodies all the flavors of Tuscan springtime. She chose it because it reminds her of internationally-famed Caesar Salad, with a Florentine twist.

Insalata del Contadino

Serves 2 By

Chiara Brandi


  • 500 gr shelled fava beans
  • Tuscan pecorino cheese
  • Romaine salad
  • Toasted bread croutons
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

In a bowl, toss the shelled fava beans, some romaine salad and bread croutons with extra virgin olive oil (and balsamic vinegar, if using).

Add some shaved pecorino cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

IMG_5314written by Gaia

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