Aubergines baked with cheese

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Todays post is about the power of network. So, basically, I checked my Reader and found this lovely post of Sunny District. Apart from an amazing trailer of a Bollywood movie (which promises to be the most colorful movie I’ve ever seen in my life) there was a link on a website to make a masterpiece from a quote. recitethis.com/ allows you to select a design for your quote or even the quote itself if you don’t have one. I decided to try, one of my favorite phrases belongs to Salvador Dalì (it is as actual as never thanks to sanctions on food import to Russia) and the result of my tremendous efforts you can see below. So after this quote I have no choice but to provide a recipe with several types of cheese.
I do have to keep on writing my thesis, so the post will be very short. Just another cheese-related curiosity I’d like to mention: today a friend of mine showed me this 60-seconds video about the smallest sculpture in London, two mice fighting for a piece of cheese – I guess I would never have noticed it myself, but now I am curious to see it. But of course what counts is the story behind the sculpture
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Aubergine Flowers

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
Aubergines_____2
Tomatoes_____ 3 big
Cheese_______100 grams (for this recipe you can take mozzarella, feta, soft goat cheese or tofu)
Oil
Pepper, Salt
Directions: 
1. Cut aubergines in halves, then each cut lengthwise into stripes around 1 cm thick (try to keep them equal and not thicker or thinner than 1 cm) like on the picture. Do not cut till the very end, aubergine should be joint at the end
_IGP4005 2. Cut cheese and tomatoes. Grease aubergines with olive oil, then put cheese and tomatoes. If you like, you can cover aubergines with chopped garlic and coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bake on 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes. It is very easy to transfer ready aubergines to plates; they do not fall apart.
Comments: I tried this dish with creamy goat cheese, mozzarella, and feta. I think the cheese which doesn’t melt is better – feta is baked beautifully and retain the shape, while mozzarella and creamy goat cheese melt and go all around the baking tray. I think mozzarella is not enough strong in taste to fit into this dish, so it’s better to pick up a cheese with a stronger flavor, depending on your preferences and fantasies 🙂 The dish is so fast and so simple, but it looks interesting and tastes simply amazing so just give it a try 🙂

Lemon and Basil Pasta

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There is a famous Russian journalist, who dedicated himself to studying island cultures. He claimed, that as every island population developed in insolation, its culture and social norms are so distinctive, that it is not easy for continental people to understand them. As the examples he mentions Japan and UK (he spent 10 years in both countries and claims that British people are quite difficult to go alone with). I don’t know how true it is nowadays, but I am sure that this principle is not applicable to another large island – Sicily. It was conquered so many time, that it is rather a melting pot of people, traditions and cuisines. Specially distinguishing in this sense is Palermo region, which was under strong Arabic influence, and thus features couscous as a traditional dish. And it were Arabs, who brought lemons into Sicily – they started cultivated it on the fertile soil of Etna. Many people trust that exactly due to this volcanic soil and Sicilian lemons have these inimitable sweetness, which born the saying: “Lemons are not lemons unless they are from Sicily”.
Lemons are used in many traditional dishes, like famous Granita. But in the summer a popular dish is past with lemon, as it has rich, refreshing flavor.
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Time of preparation: 20 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
Spaghetti or tagliatelle_________400 grams
Olive oil______________________12 tablespoons
Garlic________________________2 cloves
Red chili_____________________1/2
Basil________________________a handful
Tomato______________________1 big
Lemon______________________ 2
Parmesan___________________40 grams
Butter_______________________20 grams
Salt, Pepper
1. Boil spaghetti in plenty of salted water till al dente. Drain, reserving a splash of cooking water.
2. Chop the garlic and chili; put olive oil into a pan, add garlic and chili and sweat on medium fire for about a minute.
3. One lemon cut in segments, grate the zest and squeeze the juice from another one.
4. Put pasta in the frying pan, add a little bit of cooking water, lemon segments, zest and juice, basil, and cut tomato. Stir, season to taste, and adjust the density with the remaining cooking water. Add grated parmesan and butter. Serve straight away.

Aubergine Napoleon

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It's can be even considered a type of very healthy hamburger - and it's very easy to cook the vegan version

It’s can be even considered a type of very healthy hamburger – and it’s very easy to cook the vegan version

I found a very nice book of Jewish Cuisine called Olives, Lemons, and Za’atar. It is absolutely amazing reading, as the author, Rawia Bishara, brings her culture through this book: she writes about memories of her childhood and the eating traditions of the Holy Land. And all this is supported with the bright, colorful pictures full of sun. I am ready to pack my luggage and go to Israel, to see this wonderful country and to try all these delicious food.
One recipe looked especially appealing for me, and I decided to try it.
  • Aubergine______1,5
  • Basil Pesto________30 ml
  • Olive oil__________60 ml
  • Garlic_____________3 cloves
  • Juice of 1,5 lemons
  • Flour______________30 grams
  • Egg white__________1
  • Panko breadcrumbs__100 grams
  • Grated hard cheese_1 tablespoon
  • Dried parsley______1 tablespoon
Baba Ghanouj or Mutabal__300 ml for serving. I obviously had none and neither did I have ingredients to prepare them, so I took:
  • Peas_______________100 grams
  • Chili pepper_______1
  • Tomatoes___________2
  • Garlic_____________2 cloves
  • Shallot____________1/2
  • Olive oil__________3 tablespoons
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Cumin______________1/4 tablespoon
  • Pepper, salt
For the salad:
  • Tomatoes_________4
  • Red onion________1/2
  • Basil Pesto______3 tablespoons
  • Olive oil________90 ml
  • Salt

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Sun-dried Tomatoes’ Pesto

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Do not mix tomatoes pesto with 'red' pesto - the latter is done with red pepper

Do not mix tomatoes pesto with ‘red’ pesto – the latter is done with red pepper

Time of preparation:  15 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
  • Sun-dried tomatoes__400 grams
  • Pine nuts___________30 grams
  • Almonds___________ 20 grams (can be replaced with cashew)
  • Garlic______________2 cloves
  • A red pepper (optionally)
  • Parmesan and pecorino_30 grams of each (optionally)
  • Basil, salt, pepper to taste

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Sicilian Arancini

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Traditional Sicilian dish from rice

Time of preparation: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients:
Round Rice___ 300 grams
Parmesan_50 grams
Olives____10
Cheese___70 grams
Cherry Tomatoes__70 grams
Peas_____ 70 grams
Yolks_____2
Saffron___1 packet
For the breading:
Eggs____ 2
Breadcrumbs
Additionally: One Sicilian boyfriend (or similar) to control the process and crack two eggs (you can guess who asked me to include this “ingredient” in the recipe).

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