Zucchinis with vinaigrette of salted blackberries

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In this dish, the vinaigrette of salted blackberries is everything. The vinaigrette is full-bodied and multilayered like a good wine, so every additional ingredient should be subordinated, or should be there to support this specific taste. That is why I’ve chosen slightly fried or, even better, grilled zucchinis as an accompaniment to the vinaigrette. To provide this dish with more energy I used a soaked cous cous, but also because cous cous absorbs well other aromas. And without covering them, it provides the dish with more substance. For more crunchiness I took delicate and roasted pine nuts, macadamia nuts would fit even better. Next time I’ll replace basil and try out fresh thyme leaves.

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If you want to serve this dish only as appetizer, you can completely skip the grains. But if you want to make it a whole meal, I think that quinoa, pearl barley or millet would do the job as well. Anyhow, you should not overeat on this dish. It is more a sophisticated bite, a good excuse for a glass of cold rosé or champaign. Remember, eating well is a skill!

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 Zucchinis with vinaigrette of salted blackberries

Ingredients (serves 2):

Cous Cous

150 g cous cous
2 dl boiled water
pinch of salt

Directions: 

1. Place the grains into a smaller pot and cover with boiled water. Mix well until the water is completely soaked and add a pinch of salt. Set aside.

 Vinaigrette of salted blackberries

100 g fresh blackberries, wash and drain
1 tsp coarse salt
2 shallots, peel and chop finely
1 dl apple vinegar
1 dl good olive oil
1 Tsp honey

Directions:

1. Put blackberries in a saucepan and sprinkle with 1 tsp. coarse salt. Let and the blackberries rest for 1 hour with the salt.

2. Mix shallots with blackberries, put the pot on the stove and heat the blackberries for 6-8 minutes so they drop a bit of juice.

3. Add the apple vinegar, olive oil and honey. Mix well and season with freshly ground pepper, if necessary. Salt but be careful because blackberries er allready quite salty. Set aside and make zucchinis.

Fried zucchinis (grilled would be perfect as well!)

2 medium large zucchinis (or one very large), cut into 2 cm wide sticks (ca. 5-8 cm long)
1 tsp ghee or butter
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. In a frying pan heat the ghee or butter and add zucchinis. Fry until lightly golden. Set aside.

Zucchinis with vinaigrette of salted blackberries

Assemble with cous cous: 

1. Spread the cous cous an the plates and cover with zucchinis.  Put the warm vinaigrette over zucchinis and sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts and basil leaves. Serve as part of a menu or as a separate lunch dish.

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It`s not a Host, but it tastes divine. Multilingual bread.

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The more often I bake a bread at home, the less I follow certain rules and recipes. And every time I come to the same conclusion: you can be well educated, you can read thousands of books, make your own theories, give famous talks about food; but if you don’t prepare it often, you can’t and don’t know anything about it.

This recipe is very personal; the result of an everyday exploring and play. The first version of this recipe is written in my language. As I consider myself as a language anarchist, refusing to choose only ONE language that is MINE, this recipe-version is a product of my multilingual thoughts, nomad sayings and migrating dialects, all translated into english and my mother tongue (hm, which one?). The second version is for, well, academics: correct, rooted, UNIVERSAL.

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Multilingual bread

The powdered white of the clouds, a pinch of the first bite of the sun
and thickened morning melancholy
into a warm lap.
Sift through candied thimbles, while adding
a beam of raw phantasy
and two pieces of rooted fear.
Three spoons of salted doubt
eight drips of concentrated insecurity
and spicy expectations to taste.

Minced organisation
combine with filleted ideas
and pour with bigger dose of boiled loneliness.
Using the destiny-carved palms
knead until you get
a silky peace ready for fermentation.

Marinated patience- the more the better
and one big, juicy slice of ripe faith.

Nest into glowed passion
selecting 30 minutes of smoked joy.

Smear the melted gratitude over the thick crust
and grated, narrow-minded sense
calm down with drinkable inventiveness.

Serve with fresh generosity.

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Multilingual bread- universal recipe

Ingredients:

70 g spelt flour
1/2 cup of rye flakes
1/2 cup of millet flakes
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of amaranth
1/2 cup flex seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup psyllium husks
1 dl olive oil
1 tsp butter
20 g fresh yeast
max. 2 dl very warm (not boiled) water

Directions:

1. Put the yeast into an 2 dl glas and pour with warm water. Wait until the yeast is resolved.
2. Meanwhile: Place spelt flour, grains and salt into one big bowl and combine using your fingers. Add seeds and psyllium, Combine everything once again.
3. Slowly add the water into the dry ingredients and knead until you get a soft dough. It could be take up to 10 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky add more spelt flour. Add olive oil and knead until you get a thick dough, not to wet. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 30 min.
4. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Cover a rather small baking form with baking paper.  Replace the dough into the baking form, trying not to knead and press it too much. Set aside for another 20 minutes.
5. Bake the bread for 35 min. or until the crust becomes lightly brown and the hollow sound inside. Smear the crust on the top with 1 tsp butter.

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Sicilian Caponata

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For everyone else Sicily is: the place of longing, the story about Odysseus and the maelstrom, the mystery of nudity, Lampedusa, arabic princes and their paradisiac gardens, Goethe, the theater of Syracuse, grilled fish, ice cream, opera, maffia, garbage, sulfur mines, migration, Pirandello, the Holy Agatha, Palermo and Mount Etna.

For me Sicily is caponata: a laudation to agrodolce, sweet and sour in one spoon. It is a typical Sicilian village story in the manner of Giovanni Verga, una novella rusticana, una opera Verismo. It is all about a simple local ingredient- aubergine, embellished and enriched with dissonance. The result is pastorale: a composition that celebrates the life on land, the life of shepherds.

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Sicilian Caponata

Ingredients (Serves 6-8):

2 large aubergines,
cut into 2cm dice
Sea Salt
Vegetable oil, to fry
1 large red onion, sliced
5 celery sticks, cut into 2cm dice
1 red chilli (optional), finely chopped
200g ripe tomatoes, diced
60g capers
1 Tbsp honey
150ml passata
100ml red wine vinegar
40g toasted almonds or pine nuts
Small bunch of mint, leaves picked (parsley is also good)

Directions:

1. Lightly salt the diced aubergine and put them in a colander over a sink. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes, then pat dry.
2. Heat a wide, deep pan one-third-full of vegetable oil. Fry the aubergine in batches  until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
3. Heat 3 tsp oil in a large, wide pan (for which you have a lid) over a medium-low heat; fry the onion and celery with a pinch of salt until soft and beginning to colour, then stir in the chilli, if using. Fry for another minute, then add the diced tomatoes and fry for another couple of minutes.
4. Stir in the capers, honey, passata, vinegar and bring to the boil, then add the fried vegetables. Season, turn the heat right down, cover and simmer gently for an hour, checking towards the end of cooking and taking the pan off the heat if it seems to be drying out.
5. Take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then check the seasoning. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan, then add them, along with the roughly torn mint, just before serving. DON’T SERVE IT HOT OR WARM!

 

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