Tag Archives: Eggplants

Tomato Soup for a Sick Gal

5 Jan

Just as my hubby was recovering from the common cold, I got it this week. Arrgghh..

So, as you probably know, chicken soup is the Jewish natural medicine for cold (and just about everything), but since we already ate enough chicken soup last week to cure my husband, I was getting sick (sicker) and tired of it.

Well, I’m not such a chicken soup person to begin with. So, I now wish to establish a new sick food tradition: the tomato soup.

And why not? it has plenty of vitamins, it’s not heavy on my poor stomach, it’s nice, hot, comfy food and really easy to make. Just what I needed.

Oh yeah, tomato soup is the new chicken soup.

Grilled Tomatoes and Red Peppers soup

Ingredients:

– 5 tomatoes (I only had 3 fresh tomatoes so I used some canned tomatoes.)

– 2 red peppers

– 2 carrots

– 1 onion

– 2 celery sticks

– Tomato paste

– Water (or chicken or vegetables stock)

– Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: garlic, spices: paprika, turmeric, etc.

Optional garnishing: hard cheese and fresh herbs (hyssop, basil, thyme, etc.)

The eggplant in the photo is used in the next recipe

Preparations:

Start with grilling the tomatoes and peppers, just like in my Escalivada recipe here: drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle coarse sea salt and ground pepper and put in the oven, on grill, on high heat for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the soup:

Saute the onion in a dash of olive oil together with the carrots and celery (and whatever else you’ve decided to add in), pour some of the water in and leave to boil.

After the tomatoes and red peppers have cooled down a bit, peel them and take out the pepper seeds, coarsely rip them up and add to the soup.

Add the tomato paste, the spices and the rest of the water just enough to cover everything up.

Leave on high heat until begins to boil, then lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft and ready.

Turn off the heat and grind everything up for a smooth soup (with a hand-held or in a regular blender.)

Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese. You may also add in some cooked pasta.

Now, you’re asking what’s with the weird eggplant in the first photo?

You know how you’re sometimes trying to get from point A to B, but along the way you suddenly find yourself in point C and decide it’s actually much better?

So, I was trying to make croutons for the soup out of pita bread, and they turned out great, just not so great with the soup, but very tasty on their own.

While the soup was cooking I was getting hungry and couldn’t stop eating the “croutons”, and then I ate them with the eggplant and then I added some cheese, and then, as usual, I started playing with my food and came up with the following recipe, which I thought was worth sharing.

Oh, and the eggplant, my husband bought this Zebra eggplant in the supermarket out of curiousity and, out of the same scientific curiousity I wanted to try it out, so I grilled it with the rest of the vegetables for the soup and made an eggplant salad out of it. It tastes just like regular eggplant, perheps it had a bit more seeds in it, but it wasn’t bitter. Maybe I don’t have such refined taste buds, but I couldn’t tell a big difference. Of course, you may just as well use the regular eggplant.


Eggplants and Labane Cheese in Pita Bread

Ingredients:

– 1 medium eggplant

– 2 pita breads, I used what we call a “Lafa”, which is a big flat pita bread without the pocket, looks much like a tortilla.

– Olive oil

– Sumac

– Fresh herbs: hyssop, basil..

– Labane cheese (soft yogurt cheese)

Preparations:

– Grill the eggplant just like in the previous tomato soup recipe and the Escalivada recipe, allow it to cool down and then peel it.

– Chop the eggplant and put in a bowl, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh herbs.

– Lower the heat in the oven to about 200 deg. Celsius, leave on grill.

– Coarsely rip the pita bread into large pieces, put on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (be generous with that olive oil) and sprinkle sumac on top of the pita slices.

– Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until nice and brown.

– Assemble the whole thing together: place a grilled pita slice on a plate, then add the eggplant salad, then add a layer of Labane cheese, and so on,

until you get a beautiful tower like so:

Doesn’t it look like something you eat in a restaurant? so fancy and tasty, and it’s just the basic eggplant, cheese and pita.

All the best, and be healthy!

Gal.

Advertisements

‘Escalivada’ (roasted red peppers and eggplant) Quiche

30 Oct

My husband and I have just returned from a vacation in Barcelona, where amongst other things, we enjoyed the great Catalan food.

My favorite Tapas restaurant in Barcelona must be Ciudad Condal, judging from its popularity I guess I’m not the only one who love this place.

We ate there twice and on both occasions ordered the Escalivada tapas dish, which they serve as roasted red peppers and eggplants with a nice slice of roasted goat cheese on top. Delicious.

So, we’ve decided we must recreate this experience once we return home. It’s such a simple and delicious dish that I had to make it this weekend.

I searched the net for the traditional Escalivada recipe, and found it here: http://www.spain-recipes.com/escalivada.html

Then I’ve decided to use it in a quiche, the recipe for the quiche dough was taken from David Lebovitz site, I just took the dough recipe from this french tomato tart (which also looks great): http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/05/french-tomato-tart-recipe/

On top of it all I added the goat cheese, like in Ciudad Condal. The result is brought here for your enjoyment:

Ingredients:

For the Escalivada:

– 1 medium onion

– 2 red peppers

– 1 medium tomato

– 1 medium eggplant

– Olive oil (about 1/3 of a cup), extra virgin, good quality

– Coarse sea salt and grounded pepper

For the dough:

– 1 and 1/2 cups flour

– 125 gr unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

– 1/2 ts salt

– 1 egg

– 2 tbs ice cold water

For the quiche:

– about 150 gr good goat cheese (such as sainte maure or Chevre)

Optional:

– 3 cloves of garlic

– Some fresh thyme

Preparations:

– Preheat oven to 260 deg Celsius on grill mode.

– Put the red peppers, tomato, eggplant and onion in a cooking pan padded with aluminum foil and baking sheet:

(I didn’t use the garlic eventually for the quiche but instead we ate it separately.)

– Brush the vegetables with olive oil from all sides and place the pan in the oven.

– Roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes while turning them over every 10 minutes, until they’re soft inside and roasted outside. Some vegetables might take longer, I gave the onion a few more minutes to roast in the oven, the rest of the vegetables were prepared after 30 min.

– Take the roasted vegetables out of the oven and wrap them up in newspaper and then in a plastic bag, let them rest and sweat in the bag for about an hour, after which it will be easier to peel them.

– Take the vegetables out of the bag and peel them by hand, the peel will come off easily. Remove all the seeds from the peppers.

– Slice them into strips about 1 cm wide, and the onion into circles.

– Place all the sliced roasted vegetables in a bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.

– You may eat the Escalivada as a dish on its own, or continue to make the quiche.

– For the quiche, you can prepare the dough while the vegetables are resting.

– Mix in a bowl the flour and salt.

– Using your hands mix in the butter to a crumbly mixture.

– In a small bowl beat the egg with 2 tbs of cold water.

– Add the beaten egg to the mix and knead with your hands to a nice smooth and coherent ball of dough (you may add water or flour if necessary).

– Roll out the dough on a floured surface, to fit the size of your baking dish. (I didn’t have a rolling pin so I just used the plastic roll, as you can see, works just as well):

– Lift the flattened dough with your rolling pin and place it in the baking dish, attach with your fingertips the dough to the side of the dish and cut out leftovers.

– Leave the dough in room temperature until the filling is ready.

– To complete the quiche, preheat oven to 220 deg Celsius.

– Pour the prepared vegetables into the quiche dough shell.

– Cut the goat cheese and place on top of the quiche.

– Bake the quiche for 30 minutes, until the cheese is browned and the dough is baked.

– Bon profit!

%d bloggers like this: