Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Award-Winning Kitchen Designer Announces Cookbook Series in 2019

Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. To Debut Cookbook Series

Our mouths are watering already.

Peter Salerno, CMKBD (the founder of Peter Salerno Inc., the most award-winning North American kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century) has announced a series of cookbooks inspired by his designs, his Sicilian heritage, and his world travels as an ensign in the United States Navy.

Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here's Peter Salerno in his design showroom!
Peter Salerno (of Peter Salerno Inc.) has announced a new line of cookbooks. Here’s Peter Salerno in his design showroom!

The first Peter Salerno cookbook is set to debut later in 2019.

The announcement was made via Peter Salerno Inc.’s official Instagram and Facebook accounts and was received with anticipation and excitement.

Instagram user Stephanie Lee (@stephanie_lee_): “I’d like to preorder ASAP!!!”

Instagram user J. Patryce Design (@jpatrycedesign): “Congrats!… lmk where to purchase!”

Peter Salerno’s mastery of custom kitchen design, both transitional and traditional, stems from two places – his family tradition of cabinetry and woodworking, and his love of cooking. Peter’s friends and family often find him in his home kitchen, as well as the centerpiece kitchen of his award-winning Wyckoff, New Jersey showroom. Peter blends old-world Sicilian family recipes with other Mediterranean fare, and is eager to bring that knowledge from his kitchen to yours.

We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!
We hope Peter salerno shares his secret family homemade cavatelli recipe!

Peter also is an avid wine enthusiast, and promises to bring wine pairing expertise to his cookbooks with every recipe.

“Developing an understanding of wine pairings doesn’t depend on your budget,” Peter notes. “I’ll be pairing recipes with both high-end and affordable bottles of wine so everyone can enjoy.”

We’ve been present in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom for some of Peter’s culinary creations, and trust us – we made sure to get a sample (or two, or three…). Whenever Peter dons his La Cornue or Miele chef’s apron, you know something special is about to happen.

Now, those special moments are about to be shared with the world!

Keep an eye out for future articles here on Design Your Lifestyle, as we keep track of Peter Salerno’s new line of cookbooks!

Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.
Peter Salerno with his father, Rosolino Salerno.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Sicilian Ricotta Cake Recipe

Perfect Recipe for Classic Sicilian Ricotta Cake

Need the perfect dessert recipe to compliment the perfect cup of coffee from your TopBrewer coffee brewing system? Why not try out a classic Sicilian dessert recipe, tested and approved by Peter Salerno?

Ricotta cake (also known as Cassata) is a staple dessert from the classic Sicilian cookbook, with the perfect blend of sweet and savory, rich and creamy, light and airy. As usual, our friends at Saveur have created our favorite recipe for Sicilian ricotta cake, rimmed with pistacho marzipan and created with a touch of Grand Marnier.

This ricotta cake (cassata) recipe will leave you begging for seconds! (Credit Wikimedia)
This ricotta cake (cassata) recipe will leave you begging for seconds! (Credit Wikimedia)

From your first bite of this ricotta cake, you will experience the rich creaminess of ricotta, the zest of orange, the lightness of confectioner’s sugar, and the nutty balance of pistachio marzipan. Try it for yourself – we’re sure it’ll become a household dessert favorite!

Cassata (Ricotta Cake) Recipe: Courtesy of Saveur


Butter, for greasing pan
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour, sifted, plus more for pan
⅔ cup plus ¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. orange zest
6 eggs
1 cup shelled pistachios
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur
1 lb. ricotta, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined strainer, or ricotta impastata
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Whole candied fruits, such as oranges, apricots, and cherries, halved
Candied citron, cut in strips


1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9″ cake pan; set aside. Combine ⅔ cup sugar, zest, and eggs in a large bowl and beat on high speed of a mixer until pale and light, about 5 minutes. Add flour and fold to combine. Pour into cake pan and smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, let cake cool completely, and remove cake from pan. Using a serrated knife, cut cake crosswise into ½″-thick strips; set aside.

2. Line bottom and sides of a 12″ metal pie plate with plastic wrap; set aside. Process pistachios in a food processor until finely chopped. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and process until finely ground. With processor running, slowly add enough egg white to form a smooth dough. Transfer dough to a work surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar and knead until smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll marzipan until ¼″ thick. Cut into 2″-wide strips and line side of pie plate with strips, flattening where they overlap to form one continuous ring; set aside.

3. Heat ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves, then stir in Grand Marnier; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, ricotta, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth, 2–3 minutes; set aside.

4. To assemble, line bottom of prepared pie plate with cake strips, cutting to fit, and then sprinkle with 5 tbsp. Grand Marnier syrup; place ricotta mixture on top of cake and spread evenly to fill pie plate, smoothing top. Cover top of ricotta mixture with remaining cake slices, cutting to fit evenly, and drizzle with remaining syrup; trim excess pistachio marzipan and then wrap pie plate in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours. Meanwhile, combine remaining confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl to make a thick glaze. Invert pie plate onto a serving dish and peel off plastic wrap. Pour glaze over cake to cover evenly. Decorate with candied fruits. Refrigerate cake until set, 2 hours or overnight.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Eggplant Roulade Recipe

Eggplant Roulade Recipe (Involtini di Melanzane)

Leave it to our friends at Epicurious to come up with yet another stunning adaptation of a classic Sicilian appetizer recipe. This time, Peter Salerno is happy to serve up a fantastic Italian appetizer: eggplant roulade, or involtini di melanzane.

If you love the smoky, savory taste of grilled eggplant, then this recipe is sure to please. According to Epicurious, this preparation of eggplant roulade serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course. We personally prefer to double the recipe and serve 8 for a classic family-style Sicilian appetizer!

Here's a great eggplant roulade recipe from Epicurious. (Photo: Cooking Planit)
Here’s a great eggplant roulade recipe from Epicurious. (Photo: Cooking Planit)

Do you have any recipes you’d like to see Peter Salerno test and feature on Do you want a beautiful custom kitchen of your very own? Leave us a comment, or email!

Thanks to Epicurious for this recipe.

Recipe: Grilled Eggplant Roulade (Involtini di Melanzane)


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 5 dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, parsley, and tarragon leaves)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled soft mild goat cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan


Prepare grill.

Trim eggplant and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Using a total of 3 tablespoons oil for eggplant, lightly brush both sides of each slice with some oil and grill in batches on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until golden brown and tender, about 3 minutes on each side. (Alternatively, broil eggplant under a preheated broiler about 3 inches from heat.) With a metal spatula transfer eggplant as grilled to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Cut an X in blossom end of each plum tomato. Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a small saucepan of boiling water blanch tomatoes 10 seconds and transfer with a slotted spoon to ice water to stop cooking. Peel tomatoes and seed. Chop blanched and dried tomatoes. Mince onion and garlic.

In a 10-inch heavy skillet heat remaining tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté onion, garlic, and pine nuts, stirring, until onion and pine nuts are golden. Add blanched and dried tomatoes and herbs and sauté, stirring, until liquid tomatoes give off is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add goat cheese and Parmesan and cook, stirring, just until melted. Remove skillet from heat and season filling with salt and pepper.

Put a generous tablespoon filling at wide end of an eggplant slice and roll up slice toward narrow end, enclosing filling. Make more roulades in same manner and arrange on a warm platter.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Eggplant Caponata

Looking for a delicious, authentic Sicilian appetizer or side dish for your next traditional Italian dinner? If you’re looking for a fresh take on classic Sicilian ingredients that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for even the most discriminating Italian taste buds, then Caponata is the perfect dish for your table.

Caponata (also spelled “capunata”) is a traditional Sicilian eggplant dish that forms a beautiful vegetable salad that pairs perfectly with fish entrees. The eggplant is chopped and fried in olive oil, then served with a melange of vegetables, pine nuts  and celery in a sweet and sour sauce.

From Peter Salerno's Kitchen: SAVEUR's outstanding recipe for caponata.
From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: SAVEUR’s outstanding recipe for caponata.

There are many variations on caponata, but our favorite comes from a reliable source: the fine people at SAVEUR have once again provided an outstanding, authentic Sicilian recipe that has graced our table more than once. Their unique blend of sweet and sour, utilizing a wide variety of ingredients (from green olives to unsweetened chocolate!), creates the perfect blend for eggplant caponata.

Try it for yourself. We think you’ll be thrilled with the result, and your guests will find this recipe for caponata one-of-a-kind – and leave them begging for seconds!

Peter Salerno’s Favorite Caponata Recipe (from SAVEUR)



3 cups olive oil
2 lbs. eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. tomato paste, thinned with ¼ cup water
1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
6 oz. green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. finely grated unsweetened chocolate
½ cup finely shredded basil
2 tbsp. pine nuts


  • Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Working in batches, add eggplant and fry, tossing occasionally, until browned, 3–4 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a large bowl; set aside.
  • Pour off all but ¼ cup oil, and reserve for another use.
  • Return skillet to heat, add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium, and add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized and almost evaporated, 1–2 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in olives, vinegar, raisins, capers, sugar, and chocolate, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer to bowl with eggplant, along with basil and pine nuts, and mix together.
  • Season with salt and pepper, and let cool to room temperature before serving.

From Peter Salerno’s Kitchen: Sarde a Beccafico (Sardine Beccafico)

Today’s recipe from Peter Salerno’s kitchen is a classic Italian favorite that emanates from the traditional cuisine of Sicily – Sarde a Beccafico! For those of you who aren’t familiar, “beccafico” is an Italian term referring to small songbirds that were traditionally prepared as meals.

So how did “beccafico” become associated with fish? With the sea surrounding Sicily, many staple Italian dishes and ways of preparing food were altered to suit a more “seafaring” diet. This mean that many meat dishes featuring game birds on the mainland were adjusted for fish in Sicily. This is the case with Sarde a Beccafico – the main ingredient may be fish instead of fowl, but much of the classic preparation remains the same.

Sicilian classic Sarde a Beccafico. (Courtesy
Sicilian classic Sarde a Beccafico. (Courtesy

The word “beccafico” is a combination of the Latin for “bird” and “fig”, so it should come as no surprise that traditional beccafico dishes involve the meat being fed and/or stuffed with fruits and nuts. Many Sarde a Beccafico preparations call for ingredients such as raisins, pine nuts, and a mix of sweet and sour elements (i.e. lemon juice and sugar).

One of our favorite recipes for Sarde a Beccafico comes from Manu’s Menu, a fantastic recipe blog featuring dishes from around the world. Although Manu’s Menu doesn’t have a “speciality” per se, we were very impressed with their suggestions for this classic Sicilian dish. So from Peter Salerno’s kitchen (through Manu’s Menu) to yours, enjoy this recipe for Sarde a Beccafico!

Recipe: Sarde a Beccafico (via

Author: Manuela Zangara
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 1 kg sardines, cleaned, heads and backbones removed
  • 2 tbsp orange (or lemon) juice
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 tbsp breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 50 gms raisins (or sultanas)
  • 50 gms pinenuts
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Roast the breadcrumbs by putting them in a frying pan and cooking them on a medium fire while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. They have to become golden brown. Do not burn them or they will become bitter.
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients together and keep aside.
  3. Put a tsp of filling on each sardine and roll it like an involtino and put them in an oven proof dish, greased with olive oil.
  4. Put 1 bay leaf to separate each roll.
  5. Mix the orange or lemon juice with the sugar and pour it all over the rolls.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C – 355°F for 10 or 15 minutes.

Be sure to visit Manu’s Menu for more recipes – and to Manuela, our thanks for the great recipe! For more about Peter Salerno and his award-winning design firm, visit Peter Salerno Inc. online.