Grandma grilled Eggplants

grilled_eggplantGrandma used to make them in Summer, when eggplants are in season and they have no seeds. She used to put them in jars also, preserved with oil for the winter. However, she was famous for her tomatoes passata, every year she spent 4 days doing it and she had so many jars in her pantry. I miss her and I miss these old traditions.

All that you need is some music or movie,or as she used to, watch some soap opera like “Beautiful”, because grilling eggplants take time. They can last up to one week in your fridge, or 6 months if you decided to preserved them in oil.

I got my grill pan “GRILLA” from ikea 3 years ago ( around 10 €),  it is still in perfect condition. I use vinegar to clean it :)

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 4 aubergines
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper (with/out seeds, up to your spicy taste)
  • fresh basil, fresh mint
  • 2 tea spoons oregano,salt
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar ( for the preservers use regular white one, from grapefruit)
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Pre-heat your grill pan with medium-high heat and spread some salt on it.Doing so, the eggplants slices won’t get sticked.

2. While the grill is warming up,wash and cut the eggplants in 1 cm thick slices. Thicker they are, longer they have to grill both sides, certain I don’t want that !

3. While your eggplants are grilling, let’s make the dressing: in a bowl mix 4 tbs olive oil, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 4 garlic cloves and red chili-pepper very fine cut, 2 teaspoons oregano, mint and basil fresh leaves, as much as you like.

4. Each time a slice will be ready, put it in the bowl so it can soak the dressing up. Each time another round of eggplants will be cooked and added to the bowl, do not forget to stir them. It could seem that the dressing won’t be enough, but, as long as you see them changing color and turning more brown ( because of the black balsamic vinegar), trust me, it is good enough :)

and Buon appetito!

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Carrots Salad

carrotsalad

Oh yes, that’s not even a recipe, I know. But the combination of this citrus dressing and spicy garlic is really good. Again, this another recipe of my daddy.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 350 gr carrots
  • 1 ½ lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • pepper, salt
  • fresh parsley
  • oregano
  • 4 tbs olive oil

1. Peel, wash and cut very finely your carrots. You can use a grater to make them.

2. Mix everything in a bowl: 1 ½ lemon juice, olive oil,oregano, pepper, salt, fresh parsley and cloves of garlic without skin cut in half, then it will be easier to avoid eating them later. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes, half an hour if you have the time. This will marinate the carrots and pop the flavour out!!

Buon appetito!!!

Cauliflower with Sausages ~ Recipe

cauliflowerOne pan, full dinner :) This is another sicilian inspired recipe.  My father used to cook this also with pasta. You can try it or just serve it like this.

Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients:  8 portions

  • 1 kg cauliflower ( oh yes.. this one was frozen!)
  • 5 sausages ( around 450 gr)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40 gr pine nuts
  • some sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 black olives
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 saffron bag
  • pepper and salt

1. In a big pot, boil salted water. If you use fresh cauliflower, cut the leaves out and clean it. When you want the quick way, buy it frozen :D Cook until is quite tender. Drain it.

2. In a pan with with high edges, toss some olive oil. Let it frizzle.

3. Add the onion finely cut and 2 cloves garlic. With the help of a knife, cut the sausages casings away. Put the inside of sausages in the pan. Mush it with a wooden spoon. Add also pine nuts and let them roast.

4. Let the meat cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower cut in little pieces with 1 saffron bag, salt, and pepper.

5. Add black olives and sun-dried tomatoes cut in small pieces, cook other 5 minutes.

When it is cooked, and all cauliflowers got a nice yellow color, add fresh parsley.

Buon appetito!

Potatoes Soup

potatoes_soup

Time: 10 min prep + 25 min cooking

Ingredients: (for 4~6 portions, depends if you use it as main dish or side dish)

  • 700 gr potatoes
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs rosemary
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • parsley
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • pepper and salt

This recipe is amazing against cold weather, such as the one that I am experiencing right now in Dresden. Immediately lift you up :) This is another recipe from my Daddy,very simple and with a strong taste.

1. Peel, wash and cut your potatoes in small chunks, but not too tiny.

2. Put in a big pot with garlic cloves without their skin. Fill your pot up with water till your potatoes are fully immersed. Add 1 tbs rosemary,1 tbs oregano and 1 tbs olive oil.

3. Turn a medium heat and put a lid on. Don’t forget to season it with salt and pepper. Better if you start with small quantities and add more later, when it is almost cooked. Cook for 25 min.When is ready do go, add fresh parsley.

And.. buon appetito :)

Bruschetta Recipe

bruschettaTime: 10 minutes

Ingredients: (for 10 pieces of bruschetta)

  • any bread you like, toasted
  • 500 gr tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • e.v olive oil
  • pepper
  • salt
  • oregano
  • 2 clove garlic

To obtain a very good bruschetta you just need to prepare it in advance, and serve 20-30 min later. In this way all flavors will pop out and give you an amazing result. Very important: put bruschetta dressing on your bread only few minutes before serving, otherwise your bread will sink all tomatoes juice and will be no longer crunchy as supposed to be.

1. Wash and cut tomatoes in teeny-tiny cubes: smaller they are, easier will be eaten bruschetta without any stain on your t-shirt. Add salt, pepper and olive oil in plenty. Cut finely two peeled cloves of garlic ( if they are too big, just one is enough) and finish seasoning with fresh basil and oregano.

2. Mix all together and let it rest for a while and taste it, in this way you’ll know if you need more salt and pepper.

and enjoy it! It’s super easy and super good for party as finger-food or as appetizer with some wine.

Buon appetito!

Grandma Pasta Recipe

pasta_sundriedtomatoesI really love this recipe! When I was studying for my bachelor, I used to visit my grandma every Wednesday lunch and this was one of her typical “I completely forgot you were supposed to visit me!”-recipe. I miss you so much grandma!

Time: 10 min

Ingredients:   [ for 2 ppl]

  • 150 gr sun-dried tomatoes
  • olive oil (a nice amount)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • parsley ( again..a nice amount)
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper

1. Bring to boil a pot of water with salt in it and cook any kind of medium-size pasta you would like.

2. While your pasta is cooking ( al dente!), heat a pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Toss in it 4 cloves of garlic after you’ve pressed them with your hand to get all the flavor out. Add also 1 teaspoon of chili pepper ( or even less if your don’t like spicy food).

3, When the garlic is sizzling, add sun-dried tomatoes,thinly cut; let them cook for 5-6 min. I usually add a small cup of the boiling water in the pan to make everything smooth later and avoid to burn your garlic.

4. Drain the pasta and put it together in the saucepan where your sun-dried tomatoes are cooking and season everything with a lot of parsley.

And that’s it! Buon appetito