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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Easy Vegan Banana Pancakes

vegan_pancakeWeekends start beautifully: pancakes! I find them very close to their non-vegan brothers. I hope you will enjoy them, as much as we do :) I usually prepare the mixture inside a fridge container with a top lid, so I can directly save what’s left in the fridge for the next day. It will be as good as the day before, just….darker color thanks to the banana’s oxidation.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:   [9 pancake]

  • 2 and ½ banana
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 cups white flour ( o 1  whole, 1 white)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt

1.Smash the banana with a fork. In the meanwhile, pre-heat your non-stick pan with medium-high heat. I find no need of butter or oil.

2.Add 2 cups of milk, coconut powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In small amount, add 2 cups of flour: keep stiring to prevent any lump.

4. Put on the heat and cook until some bubbles will appear on the surface. When they do, it means they are ready to be flipped. Cook for a moment the B-side of your pancake.

They need to be brown both sides, but still kind of white and uncooked in the middle. At least, this is the way I like them!Garnish with everything you like and buon appetito!

Sicilian fennel Salad

fennel_saladLong time since my last post. First of all I want to thank Seema (here her blog http://www.coffeemakerslist.com) for all the love and support she showed me, pushing me to come back. Since we moved in Germany (around November), I had so much colon-pain every afternoon till nights, which often turned out into an emergency bathroom call. Since 7th April I kind of changed my everyday nutrition into a more “veganish” way of eating, I still eat fish though. The reason was mainly my pain, which now is reduced significantly. I would say that 90% of time I am fine. Anyway long story short: I got kind of depressed and had a lack of creativity since now milk, eggs, cheese and other stuff don’t belong our fridge anymore. But now I am slowly rearrange my everyday meals…

This recipe is a traditional recipe, very very refreshing, you can make it completely vegan skipping anchovies. Some family serves it at the very end of the meal, to “wash” your mouth thanks to the citrus and help digestibility through fennel nutrition properties or could be served between two important and heavy courses to lighten them up.

Time: 15 minutes + 10 resting

Ingredients: 

  • 4 orange ( better quality without seed)
  • 3 fennel
  • 2 spring onions
  • 10 black olives
  • oregano, salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • fresh parsley
  • Optional: 3-4 anchovies cut in small pieces

1. Cut oranges skin out.: you need to completely remove the white skin part and cut in small chunks.

2. Put orange in a big bowl with spring onions finely cut, 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.

3. Wash and  remove the external shell of fennels. I like to cut them fine but not too much: I do love the crunchy side of fennel. Add to the bowl with 3 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and some parsley.

4. Add olive( I like to cut them in smaller circle) and *anchovies, which will add some salty background taste.

Let it rest for 10 minute and then taste it:  the orange sweetness should be in contrast with the raw spicy hint of spring onions. Now you can adjust with more pepper and salt if needed.

Buon Appetito!!!

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!

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!!!