Meatless Monday Melanzane

Meatless Monday? What’s that..?! Just kidding.
If you’re looking for a comforting, filling dish that is also meatless and tasty, well this is the dish – Melanzane Parmiggiano.
It ticks all the boxes:
Tasty – check.
Rich and warm – check.
Cheesy – check.
Filling and comforting – check.
{Of course, you can also have it as a side dish with a scrummy roast chicken}

You will need:
2 large aubergines, sliced
Olive oil
Thyme
Tinned tomatoes
Tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
Sweet basil leaves, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Salt & pepper
Peppadew spice
Garlic, finely chopped {2 cloves}

Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and grill in a pan until both sides are golden. Once all the aubergine slices are cooked, set these aside.
Using the same pan {I hate doing dishes and loading the dishwasher, so I use as little pots & pans as possible!}, heat some more olive oil and sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic and tomato paste {2 tbs} and let it all caramelise.
Add the tin of tomatoes, a few thyme sprigs and chopped basil. Season with salt & pepper and let it reduce slightly to a nice and rich tomato sauce.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
In a large casserole, place a layer of aubergine slices and season with peppadew spice. Add a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle with both cheeses.
Add another layer of aubergines, season, add sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake this in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and has formed a golden brown crust.

20140414-151144.jpg
Enjoy with a salad and a nice glass of vino! {No reason to go meatless AND wineless..!}
X

20140414-151541.jpg

Advertisements

Veggie curry – our lunchtime staple in India

It feels like a lifetime ago, our year-and-a-half-stint in India… It’s only been {almost} a year now since we’ve been back, but it seriously feels like ages ago and I haven’t really cooked anything Indian since!
So, in this blazing summer heat, I decided to make a nice veggie curry for lunch – mild enough for the boys to enjoy {toddler of 2 and a half, and baby of 10 months}.
This curry is so simple, yet truly flavourful. Just because it wasn’t overly spicy doesn’t mean it was bland.
I learnt to make curries from our nanny we had in India, dear Annu, as well as some local food magazines and on our trip to south India, where we stayed in a ‘homestay’ near Kerala.

This is not from a recipe, I just used the spices I had and from what I know work well together.

You will need:
1 small aubergine, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 potatoes, diced {I had some leftover from bad ol’ December that I needed to use!}
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 cup {roughly} frozen peas defrosted in some hot water, just enough to cover the peas {the water will also go into the curry}
Whole coriander seeds
Yellow mustard seeds
Mild curry powder {includes turmeric and other spices}
Cumin powder
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
Cream
Tomato paste
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Start by sautéing the onion in olive oil. Add all the spices and fry until the mustard seeds start to pop. {I didn’t measure the spices! but I probably used about a tsp of each…}
Add the veggies, tomato paste {about a tbs} and cream {half a cup} and another half a cup of water. Add enough salt, probably about a tbs and let it all simmer away until the potatoes are soft. Season generously with salt & pepper.

Garnish with fresh coriander.
Enjoy! X

20140116-120405.jpg

Roast butternut & rocket salad

Our veggie garden has been delivering some yummy goods for the past month or so, including a few giant varieties… Well, sadly, it is coming to an end now and I need to plant new seeds. Sweet basil is still thriving and so are the tomatoes {except that something is eating it!}, but everything else is starting to come to an end.
I picked these butternuts – they were HUGE but didn’t really look like butternuts, so I thought, well let me use it and see how it turns out…

20140120-204851.jpg

Turns out, these taste almost like normal butternuts, or a cross between a regular butternut and baby marrow, and they’re just much lighter and sort of longer…
Anyways – I’ll have to read up on this variety.
Here they are in my roast butternut & rocket salad – simple and delicious:

20140120-205033.jpg

Cut the butternut and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and your favourite ‘sprinkle’. {I used Peppadew spice.}
Roast for an hour at 180C until they’re tender. Just before they’re done, add some pine nuts and return to the oven to finish roasting.
Let it cool slightly and toss with fresh rocket leaves & olive oil. Season with ground sea salt.
Add a few dollops of cream cheese.
Enjoy! X

The Real Squash Revolution – cheesy, ooey-gooey gem squash

We have such a lot of gem squash ready for the picking, from our garden, that I’m constantly searching for new recipes to use.
I love these little gems, but let’s be honest, they’re not the most popular, or shall I say, most used of the pumpkin family, so finding new and tasty ideas for what to do with them, can be tricky.

Anyways, so here it is – adapted from the Real Meal Revolution cookbook {my current fave!} – blue cheese & caramelised onion baked gem squash:

Boil a few gem squash until tender, then cut in half and remove seeds.
Season with salt & pepper.
Crumble some blue cheese into the hollow of the squash and top with caramelised onions {see below for recipe}.
Add a dollop of butter and grill in the oven until the cheese has melted.
Easy peasy!

For the caramelised onions:
Slice an onion and sauté in butter and olive oil over low heat.
Add a drizzle of honey and a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook until the vinegar has reduced, the onions are cooked and everything is nice and caramelised.

20140113-210605.jpg

Enjoy! X