Samstag, Mai 05, 2007

Weekend herb blogging #81

Here I am, once again preparing something for WHB us. From time to time I have to do some basic kitchen works like cooking broths and fonds. Blanching vegetables like broccoli and beans. Making some red/green/yellow Thai or Indian curry paste. And things like that. I think you'll find many examples in my sidebar. Not that often I prepare some vegetables to marinate them as Italian antipasti. I love the Italian kitchen, most of the dishes I know are very simple. They came from the kitchens of peasants. But they're not simple in their taste. They are often powerful, and well balanced in their seasoning. My parents are from Hungaria and there are many, many similar dishes. Hence I'm very familiar with that taste. The simple the ingredients are the better and fresher they have to be - nowadays.
    I know for example the Hungarian gulash (the hús of an Hungarian gulyás - meat of a sheppard) is made from meat the sheppards couldn't sell and they cooked it as long as possible and covered the taste with paprika powder. I think it's just the same with Indian curries.
    But our palate knows so many delicaties from all around the world. And we have eaten so many different versions of many dishes. That we are spoilt - a bit.
Honestly I think I don't want to stand in the kitchen for hours and prepare something with non-tasting tomatoes, watery pork meat, long ago harvested carrots, asparagus with wooden ends, ... . I prefer the best ingredients I can put my hands on. Cuverture from brands like Valhrona and Michel cruizel; Air flown-on the vein riped tomatoes and strawberries (in Singapore almost everything is imported so not to use local products which are in season is not the point and our garden/orchard in Germany is far, far away); Home-grown herbs from my kitchens window sill; Organic, stoneground, unbleached flours; Oils and vinegars from delicatessens; Tea from fresh lemongrass, flower pedals, ginger slices, herbs; Chocolate from plantations, Fresh ground and mixed spices and seasonings, and so on. Meanwhile I know where and when I can get those wonderful products in Singapore. But it tooks me a while.

For this weekend herb blogging event, which will be hosted from Kalyn herself, I made

Melanzane and zucchine marinate

The herbs I used for those antipasti are sage, mint, basil, and flat/Italian parsley. For sure these herbs are not only healthy. Combined with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar they develop a wonderful Italian flavour. They will let you dream about l'azzurro di l'acqua, about i spiagge, about qualche ragazzi italiani, about un amore per un estate, about musica ... about mangare.

Ingredients for the marinated eggplants:

1 kgeggplants, preferably small ones
1bunch flat parsley
1bunch basil
15sage leaves
5large garlic cloves
5 Tbsplard
10 Tbspwhite wine vinegar
fresh ground black pepper


Wash the eggplants, remove any brown signs, and cut them in slices, 5 mm thick. Place them in a strainer or a bowl. Sprinkle some salt over them to release some of their water and to remove any bitterness. Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
Rince the eggplant slices and pad them dry with kitchen papers. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons fat in a frying pan and fry the aubergines in several batches until golden brown. About 2 minutes from each side. Lay them on kitchen paper.
Chop the herbs and the garlic. Mix them together with the vinegar.
Layer the eggplant slices in sterisized preserving jars. prinkle each layer with pepper and just a pinch of salt and pour marinade over it. Close the jars with their lid and either cook them for 5 minutes in a pressure cooker or for 10 minutes in a 200 °C hot oven.

The recipe for the zucchinis is almost the same.

Ingredients for the marinated courgettes/zucchinis:

1 kgzucchini
1bunch mint
1bunch flat parsley
1bunch basil
5large garlic cloves
200 mlwhite wine vinegar
olive oil for frying
fresh ground black pepper


Wash and trim the zucchinis. Cut them in stripes about 5 mm thick. Put them in sieve or a bowl and sprinkle some salt over them to release some of their water content. Let stand.
Chop the herbs, and the garlic. Pour the vinegar over them.
Rinse the zucchini slices and pad dry them with kitchen paper.
Pour as much olive oil into a frying pan to cover well the bottom. Heat the pan over medium-high and fry the slices in several batches until golden brown.
Lay them on kitchen paper.
Layer the slices in sterilisized preserving jars. Sprinkle each layer with pepper and just a pinch of salt and pour marinade over it. Close the jars with their lid and either cook them for 5 minutes in a pressure cooker or for 10 minutes in a 200 °C hot oven.

If you want to make a smaller amount and to use them right away leave them marinated in a flat bowl for about 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Or eat them still warm with fresh Italian bread or a baguette with some slices parmesan or pecorino cheese. And dip the sauce with the bread.

Now I have to go ahead and prepare some shallots, bell pepper, mushroom,..

And by the way the marinated zucchini will be twice as good if you fill them with goat cheese, the aubergines can be filled with mozzarella, like I did it for my birthday. The bell pepper is delicious with tuna-stuffing. Or just add them to a salami or parma ham sandwich with cheese in a chiabatta roll. And aren't those preserved antipasti a nice gift to bring along, just wrap a cocktail napkin over the lid and create a suitable tag or sticker.


At 05 Mai, 2007 20:55, Blogger Kalyn said...

Your marinated eggplant and zucchini both sound just wonderful. I love the idea of sealing them in jars, never thought of doing that. (BTW, congrats on reaching the milestone of forty, it's a very good age, and you look great!))

At 07 Mai, 2007 07:07, Blogger Anh said...

Beautiful! I agree that we should try the best ingredients on hand. Your recipe for the marinate is wonderful!

At 07 Mai, 2007 22:50, Blogger Pookah said...

This looks great. As much as I have made something similar and as much as I can (a lot), I have never thought of canning it. I wonder how it holds...Thanks for posting this!

At 14 Mai, 2007 16:31, Blogger Ales said...

I love your zucchine e melanzane marinate. I think I'm gonna 'nick' your idea for the dressing the jars : ) Great blog!


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