Sicilian “Caponata”

This recipe takes quite long time, as all very good stuff do. But, you can keep it in your refrigerator for quite long. I remember when was a kid in my grandma kitchen, I used to hide under the table scared of her splattering oil. She had this tiny and old kitchen, and yet, she was sitting always there. She had other rooms of course, but as far as I can remember, she was always in that tiny steamy kitchen, always up to something, with some soap opera on her tiny old tv, always on. As a matter of fact, my grandma won’t know, but I too spend most of my day in my less small kitchen with music or youtube video or rai.replica on.

caponata

Time: 35 min – 2 hours preparation

Ingredients: for 4 portions

  • 3 aubergine
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 80 gr green olives (without pit)
  • 40 gr capers (much better the one with dry brining)
  • 30 gr pin nut
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 tomatoes (or a can chopped salsa tomatoes)
  • 100 ml white Italian vinegar (or apple vinegar)
  • 1 l frying oil (sunflower is better)
  • salt and pepper

1. First wash and dry with a kitchen towel your eggplants, cut them in cubes and put them on a strainer. Spread some salt on them and let them rest for at least 1 hour. You can also put an heavy pot upon them, in order to get rid of more bitter liquid. This method is always used to get rid of excess water during frying process. Otherwise they get mushy and not crispy.

2.While the eggplants take a nap, I usually get forward with the preparation of the other ingredient. a) I cut finely the onion b) wash capers and olive, cut them in small circles and leave some whole. c) wash and cut the red pepper and celery.

3. In an old pan bring the sunflower oil to right temperature( it takes usually 10-15 minutes or so medium heat).You know the right temperature, if you toss one cube of eggplant and immediately some small bubbles appear all around it. When they get some golden color, you get them out of oil and lay on some kitchen paper to absorb the excesses oil.

4. In another big pan put 3 tbs spoon olive oil and cook onions for 2 minutes.

5, Add a pressed clove garlic, red peppers, 80 gr green olives and celery. Add some salt and cook for 5 minutes. Then add 40 gr capers, 30 gr pine nuts and tomatoes without seeds or the one from a can without the preserving water, cook for other 4 minutes high temperature.

6. Add the fried eggplants, together with 100 ml white vinegar and one big tablespoon sugar. Cook for other 5-6 minutes medium temperature.

7. Now check, and eventually add, salt and pepper and let the whole thing cool down. It is usually served room temperature, better on some wholegrain bread.

and now I am so hungry… Buon appettito!

 

 

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Rice Salad ~ Recipe

rice_saladTime: 20

ingredients:

The ingredients quantity can be altered up to your taste. You can also skip some ingredients you don’t like and adjust to your own favorite pickles. Each family has its own mix of ingredients in Italy, this is my daddy’s recipe.

  • 500 gr rice ( short grain one)
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • tuna can ( 150 gr)
  • 20 green olives
  • roasted peppers 400 gr ( I usually buy them ready to be eaten)
  • peas can ( 280 gr)
  • corn can ( 200 gr)
  • oregano and fresh basil
  • 3 spoons olive oil
  • 1 spoon balsamic vinegar

1. Boil the water with some salt in it and cook the rice following the directions in the box. Arborio or Carnaroli rice usually takes about 20 min to be fully cooked.

2. In the meanwhile, open all the cans and toss what they contained in a strainer and wash everything with cold water. Grab a big bowl and cut the tomatoes, peppers and olives in smaller pieces. Seasons everything with some oregano and fresh basil,3 spoons olive oil and 1 spoon balsamic vinegar. Add the rice, mix everything and it’s ready!

If you keep the bowl inside the fridge, it will last up to thee days without problems.

Buon appetito!

Watermelon Jelly Recipe

watermelon_jellyTime:1 hour prep + one night resting

Ingredients:   for 8 medium ice cream bowl

  • 2,5 kg watermelon
  • 250 gr white sugar
  • 65 gr potato starch
  • chocolate chips ( they will look like watermelon seeds but they are not :D)
  • some pistachio ( not salted!) or cinnamon powder
  • vanilla extract or vanilla powder

This is a typical Sicilian summer dessert, called “gelo di mellone“. It’s  good to recycle watermelon not so fresh anymore and also it is used to fill pies or little pastries. NB: For this recipe you’ll need an hand-blender.

1. Cut the watermelon and get rid of seeds. If you buy a relative small one, they usually don’t have those big black seeds, but only little “yellow” one, which you can easily ignore and keep.

mix_watermelon

2.Blend the watermelon directly inside a quite large saucepan and add sugar and starch. Put on your stove with a medium heat. Keep stiring until it is boiling. Wait 5 minutes and now turn it off. Wait to cool it off to add your vanilla powder and chocolate chips, otherwise they will melt and you could use the “fake seeds”effect.

Divide in different containers and decor with some pistachio. You can buy them  and use your own mixer to reduce them in a fine flour.Put in the fridge for at least 6 hours, one night is much better though :) It’s also a good solution if you have people come over!

Buon appetito!

Lentils Salad Recipe

lentils_salad

This is a quick and fresh recipe, perfect for summer!

Time:10 min [4 ppl]

Ingredients:

  • 2 can of lentils  (around 500 gr)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • mix of seeds (sesame seed, pine nut,pumpkin seed, sunflower seed)
  • 1 or 2 spring onion
  • mix of different lettuce loose leaves ( arugola, red leaf, romaine etc)
  • mix of fresh herbs (basils, parsley, chives, oregano)

1. I decided to quickly warm the lentils up and let them cook for some minutes. Lentils in a can are usually precooked, but I always rinse them, wash with cold water and cook for 10 minutes. In this way they lose any “can smell”, if you know what I mean.

2. While the lentils are slowly re-cooking, I peel the cucumber, get rid of internal seed and wash it together with cherry tomatoes. I chop everything in little cubes and put it in a big bowl. Add one or two spring onion, herbs and washed lettuce leaves. Let the lentils cool off for some minutes.

For dressing: I simply add olive oil, salt and pepper.