Ciao Aroma Dandelion Salad

Dandelion Salad


  • 1 – bunch of dandelion
  • 1/2 cup EVO (Extra Virgin Olive oil)
  • 1/4 Apple cider vinegar or more depending on how you like it.
  • 1 – tbsp Aroma seasoning
  • 1- pinch of salt to taste
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juice


1. Cut stems then wash the dandelion. Dry with paper towel.

2. Add dandelion to bowl and add EVO or enough to to coat them after they have been mixed.

3. Now add the apple cider vinegar mix, add Aroma seasoning mix and then add the lemon juice.

4. Get yourself a nice loaf of Italian bread and enjoy.




Personality Profile: Jerrold Vincent Anthony Rispoli

imageCiao Pittsburgh’s Personality Profile series on current and former Pittsburghers continues this month as we learn a little about Jerrold Vincent Anthony Rispoli, a local teacher, originally from Long Island, NY, who specializes in special education. Jerrold discussed what being Italian means to him and shares with us his Italian background as well as some of his favorite Italian traditions.

CP: First, tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and what you do for a living? 

Jerrold: My wife and I are the parents of three children—Nick, 13, Anna Marie, 11, and Joseph Vincent, 8. Our boys play baseball for the Shaler Thunder Travel Baseball Team.   Nick plays for the 13U team and Joe plays 9U.  We have great kids and great families and great coaches who enjoy being together. I coach both of their teams as well as keep the fields maintained and looking good.

The most rewarding part is that I get to see kids develop and mature into fundamentally sound baseball players. Most are learning respect for the game and to represent themselves and their family through sport. My daughter, Anna, loves music and enjoys her clubs/programs including Girls on the Run and the Sarah Heinz House. She is my special girl and is the sweetest child I know.  She loves watching her brothers play ball and gets very angry when umpires make bad calls during the ball games.  

We also have an awesome pug named Rocco who is currently on vacation visiting his cousin Biff in Conneaut Lake. As a teacher, I specialize in Special Education. I love my job and enjoy the people who I work with. I have great principals and colleagues.

CP: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your career?

Jerrold: Just like my coaching experiences and seeing kids grow, the single most rewarding aspect of my teaching career is when kids “get it.”  What we call in the business “getting it” is the relationship between hard work and effort producing good work and earning good grades. Unfortunately, we cannot reach all the kids but the ones we do make it all worthwhile.   [Read more…]



New Recipe Posted: Ciao Aroma Bocconcini



  • 2 cups of Fresh Mozzarella (small), drained
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp or more of Ciao Pittsburgh’s Aroma seasoning
  • Extra virgin Olive oil, enough to fill jar


  1. In empty jar, add 1 tsp of minced garlic to the bottom of jar. Line the bottom with mozzarella balls, then sprinkle Aroma on top of mozzarella balls. Add one basil leaf.
  2. Add another layer of mozzarella on top of the ones you placed at the bottom. Sprinkle Aroma, add another basil leaf and continue on with this pattern until you reached the top. Add any extra basil leaves to the top. Once you have reached the top, add the olive oil until it fills the jar.
  3. Screw on the lid and turn the jar right side up and upside down until you start to see the garlic and Aroma moving around the jar. For best results, place in the refrigerator for about 1 day.
  4. Before use, take jar out of refrigerator for about a half hour so the olive oil will become liquid again. Pour jar into a bowl and you have a beautiful looking bowl of fresh mozzarella balls full of flavor. Eat with a nice loaf of Italian bread… enjoy!

Check out this and our other recipes on our Recipe Page!



Mother In- Law of the Year (Or Why My Mother In-Law is Way Better Than Yours)

ground hogBy Nicky D Cooks

I was so nervous to meet my future mother-in-law. I knew very little about her other than she was Italian. I will be the first to admit this, Italian women are tough, especially when it comes to their sons.

In Italian families, there are euphemisms thrown around like “first born Italian males, the baby boy of the family, and Italian sons love their moms.”  These are not in jest I can assure you, they are all very real.

Are Italian boys treated like royalty in a family? I can neither confirm nor deny this fact because I am now an Italian mother of a son.

These moms are fiercely protective and devoted to their sons. Unconditional love is just implied, it goes without saying and no need to state the obvious. Think of it in terms of lioness in a pride on the Serengeti, except Italian mothers will make lion moms looks like simple house cats when it comes to the area of dating their sons.

[Read more…]



Broccoli Rabe: My Fond Memories of a Bitter Green

Broccoli Rabe By Nicky D Cooks

If there was ever a food that I can associate with my grandmother, it would be broccoli rabe. I remember walking into her kitchen as a child and the smell of the broccoli rabe cooking on the stove top would just stop you in your tracks.

It was such a distinctive smell and you knew immediate what she was making. The aroma of garlic and greens cooking in olive oil is like no other. It is a dish that represents so much more to me than just food on a plate- it is a symbolic representation of her love, our family and my Italian heritage all in one.

Yes, Italians do get that caught up in our food. We are such a quirky breed, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My grandmother would cook these greens simply, with garlic and oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper. A slice of crusty Italian bread was the perfect accompaniment.  It was peasant cooking at its finest; so delicious and unpretentious.

My big brother went wild for these bitter greens, he devoured them by the bowl full. I will confess that I kind of liked them as a kid-but I didn’t love them like my brother did. I did eat my fare share, but I could take them or leave them.

[Read more…]