31 May, 2011

Cherry Bundt Cake

Cherry Bundt Cake

The "red season" is alternating between strawberries and cherries at the moment.
While I love the first very much, I have a great difficulty finding good quality ones, the ones that really taste like strawberries, sweet and not gum-like fruit that vaguely resemble what I remember eating as a child.
With cherries I'm a bit luckier.
You see, there are about 150 varietis of cherries cultivated in Italy, and the absolutely best ones are grown here where I've lived for the past six years, in the area between Modena and Bologna, more specifically the small town of Vignola, a few kilometers from Modena. There are several famous varieties (Durone, Mora, Bigarreau are some of them) that are their peak at different moments so that we'll probably be blessed with them for the whole month of June as well.

Cherries

Cherries are excellent fruit from my point of view. I consider them contagious, like eating nuts or pop corn, only healthier, once I start, I can't stop until all that's left in front of me is an empty bowl.
Besides that, they have detoxicating, depurative and diuretic effect on our body, at the same hydrating it because they contain lots of water. At the same time they're low in calories.

This is not the first recipe I prepared with cherries this year, but it's the one I already made twice, and I guess that says it all.
It's very tasty, dense and moist, and yet tasting so light and fresh. It stays moist for days and keeps pretty well.
I reduced the sugar compared to the original recipe (that was 1 and 1/2 cups - 300 g), because it seemed a bit too sweet when I made it the first time. But, of course, everyone's free to suit their taste.
Don't wait until the cherry season is over, you'll be sorry  ^__^

Cherry Bundt Cake

Cherry Bundt Cake

* 3 eggs
* 1 cup (200 g) sugar
* 1 vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
* 2 cups (250 g) flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 200 g greek style yogurt
* 400-500 g cherries
* a little ground cinnamon

Turn the oven on to 180°C.
Wash and pit the cherries. Cut them in half, and set aside while preparing the cake batter.
Put the whole eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer, add sugar and the vanilla extract and beat well on high speed, until foamy and pale.
Add the oil while continuing to mix on low speed, and then the flour sifted together with the baking powder and a little cinnamon, and in the end the yogurt. Mix shortly in this phase, just until everything comes together into a homogeneous batter.
Grease and flour a 26-cm bundt pan.
Pour half of the batter into the pan, distribute half of the cherries over it. Cover the cherries with the remaining batter and then the rest of the cherries. Push the cherries lightly in.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar once it's cold.
Serve with a cup of tea or coffee

Cherry Bundt Cake


Ciambella con ciliegie


* 3 uova
* 200 g zucchero
* 1 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia o 1 bustina di vanillina
* 120 ml di olio (di girasole o arachidi)
* 250 g farina
* 2 cucchiaini di lievito per i dolci
* 200 g yogurt greco
* 400-500 g ciliegie
* un po' di cannella

Accendete il forno a 180°C.
Lavate e denocciolate le ciliege. Tagliatele a metà.
Mettete le uova sgusciate in una ciotola insieme allo zucchero e la vaniglia. Sbatterle molto bene con la frusta elettrica fino a farle diventare chiare e spumose.
Continuando a mescolare a bassa velocità aggiungete prima l'olio, poi la farina setacciata con il lievito e un po' di cannella, e infine lo yogurt.
Versate metà del composto in uno stampo per ciambelle, imburrato e infarinato. Cospargete metà delle ciliegie, coprite con il restante composto e le ciliege, premendole leggermente per farle affondare.
Cuocete la ciambella nel forno caldo per circa 45 minuti. Verificate la cottura con uno stecchino.
Sfornate il dolce e lasciatelo raffreddare, cospargetelo con lo zucchero a velo prima di servirlo.


Cherry Bundt Cake

Vjenčić s trešnjama


* 3 jaja
* 200 g šećera
* 1 žličica ekstrakta vanilije (ili vanilin šećer)
* 120 ml ulja
* 250 g brašna
* 2 žličice praška za pecivo
* 200 g grčkog jogurta
* 400-500 g trešanja
* malo cimeta


Stavite jaja, šećer i vaniliju u zdjelu i mutite mikserom dok ne dobijeto lijepu, pjenastu smjesu.
Miješajući i dalje mikserom, ali na najnižoj brzini,dodajte ostale sastojke slijedećim redoslijedom: ulje, brašno prosijano s praškom za pecivo i cimetom, na kraju jogurt.
Namažite okrugli kalup u obliku vijenca (s rupom u sredini) maslacem i pospite brašnom.
Uspite polovicu tijesta, preko njega rasporedite polovicu trešanja (otkoštenih i izrezanih na pola). Ulijte ostatak tijesta u kalup i na vrh rasporedite preostale trešnje i lagano ih utisnite u tijesto.
Pecite u pećnici zagrijanoj na 180°C oko 45 minuta.
Izvadite kolač iz kalupa i ostavite da se ohladi na rešetki.
Prije posluživanja pospite ga šećerom u prahu.

(originalni recept)

Cherry Bundt Cake



This recipe is linked to / Questa ricetta partecipa a / Ovaj je recept povezan s:

27 May, 2011

Ricotta, Amaretti and Fruit Dessert


"Summers are back. Have you seen them!"
I tried to explain that summer is one and that there's no need for plural, no way... I guess when you are four years old, what matters is not how you say something but what you say. And she was so happy.
So if summers are back, it means it's hot, it means that while the outside temperature is only around 30°C, the temperature in my kitchen when cooking is already around 38, and my body temperature today more or less the same. A throat so sore that I'm starting to imagine what it must be like to swollow knives or swords, and my head kind of floating and bubbling, although I haven't been drinking anything else but aspirin..
I even forced myself to bake some cookies yesterday, it's a miracle they came out all right.

The dessert I'm sharing today is a great idea when you don't  feel like spending hours in the kitchen but don't want to skip the best part of your meal either, want something sweet and yet don't want to feel guilty thinking of the coming swimsuit season.
Lovely creamy ricotta with crunchy amaretti cookies underneath and sweet, fragrant summer fruit on top.
You can whip this in no time and enjoy the summer evening when there's finally some pleasant breeze outside and you can relax.
p.s. Looks like a breeze is turning into a storm, better pack up for the night.


Ricotta, Amaretti and Fruit Dessert


Ricotta, Amaretti and Fruit Dessert


(4 servings):
* 200 g ricotta cheese
* 200 g greek style yogurt
* 1,5 TBspoons agave syrup or acacia honey
* about 15 amaretti (cookies)
* fruit of your choice (strawberries, cherries, melon, peaches, apricots, etc.)
* a little lemon juice
* 1 or 2 TBspoons sugar

*Prepare a fruit salad with the fruit you have available or like most. This time, I used strawberries, cherries and melon. Cut the fruit into small pieces, add a little freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar to your taste (depending on the fruit you're using, I put 2 TBspoons). Stir and leave in the fridge.
* Leave 4 amaretti cookies aside and crush the others. Distribute the crumbs on the bottom of 4 serving glasses or bowls. Drizzle them with a spoonful of the juice from the fruit salad.
* Just before serving, whisk the ricotta and the yogurt together, adding agave syrup or honey.
Spoon the ricotta mixture over the amaretti crumbs and top with the fruit and the remaining amaretti cookies.


Ricotta, Amaretti and Fruit Dessert


Dessert con ricotta, amaretti e macedonia di frutta

(per 4 persone):
* 200 g ricotta
* 200 g yogurt greco
* 1,5 di sciroppo d'agave o miele
* circa 15 amaretti)
* frutta (fragole, ciliegie, melone, pesche, albicocche, ecc.)
* un po' di succo di limone
* 1 o 2 cucchiai di zucchero

* Tagliate la frutta a pezzettini, mettetela in una ciotola aggiungendo il succo di limone e zucchero. Mescolate bene e lasciate in frigo almeno mezz'ora.
* Lasciate a parte 4 amaretti e sbriciolate i restanti. Distribuiteli in fondo di 4 bicchieri o coppette. Aggiungete un cucchiai di succo che la frutta ha rilasciato nel frattempo.
* Poco prima di servire mescolate con una frusta la ricotta e lo yogurt con lo sciroppo d'agave (o miele) per renderla cremosa.
Distribuire la crema di ricotta sopra i biscotti sbriciolati e completare con la frutta e gli amaretti lasciati interi.


Ricotta, Amaretti and Fruit Dessert

Desert s ricottom, amarettima i voćem

(za 4 osobe):
* 200 g sira ricotte
* 200 g grčkog jogurta
* 1,5 žlica sirupa agave ili meda
* 15-ak amaretta (keksića)
* voće po želji
* malo limunovog soka
* 1 do 2 žlice šećera

* Od voća po želji pripremite voćnu salatu - nasjeckajte sve na komadiće i pomiješajte u zdjeli s malo limunovog soka i 1 do 2 žlice šećera. Promiješajte i ostavite u hladnjaku.
Ja sam ovaj put stavila jagode, trešnje i dinju, a možete prema sezoni koristiti i marelice, breskve, šljive itd.
* Odvojite 4 amaretta za ukras, a ostale izlomite/izmrvite rukama.
Raspodijelite izmrvljene kekse na dno 4 čaše za desert. Preko njih stavite malo soka koje je pustilo voće.
* Neposredno prije posluživanja, izmiješajte pjenjačom ricottu i jogurt, zasladite po želji sirupom agave ili medom, pa rasporedite u čaše preko namrvljenih keksa.
Na vrh stavite voće i po jedan cijeli keks, poslužite odmah.

23 May, 2011

Chickpeas and Zucchini Salad

Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula


Last week was pretty stressful, with the little one not feeling well, me being alone with two kids, a dog and a forgetful neighbour who was supposed to help me out. I'm glad it's behind me, although  my husband had to go away again and I've kept S. at home just to make sure she recovers completely before I take her back to kindergarten.
She's a funny little mouse, as I like to call her, always sneaking around the fridge and grabbing things she's not supposed to eat. Then coming back and saying "Mummy, don't look." ^__^

This morning I went to the open market with her, haven't been there in years, litterally.
I hate the confusion that rules there, can't see anything really, just kind of going through as if trying to escape.
But one thing S. noticed immediately were watermelons. She wouldn't leave without it. And since I told her she would get to eat it only if she finished all of her lunch, she cleaned her plate in a matter of seconds.

But coming back to things I like.
I really, really love salads like this. They're an excellent meal on their own.
Colourful and attractive, healthy, too.
Just grab a slice of your favorite bread and join in..

Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula


Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula

* 250 g precooked chickpeas
* 250 g cherry tomatoes
* 3 zucchini
* a bunch of arugula (rocket) salad
* 2 shallots
* 2 cloves of garlic
* a handful of basil leaves
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
* 1 TBspoon sesame seeds
* salt
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil

* Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges. Put them in a bowl, salt to taste and mix in the washed, dried and chopped basil leaves.

* Sautè the finely chopped scallions and garlic cloves with 4 TBspoons olive oil and the finely chopped rosemary leaves, on medium-low heat.
Add the zucchini cut into 1/2 cm squares, salt to taste and countinue to sautè for 5 minutes stirring frequently.
Add the chickpeas (drained, I also removed the skins) and sautè for 5 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix the zucchini and chickpeas with the tomatoes.

* In the meantime drytoast the sesame seeds in a skillet stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until golden.

* Place the arugula salad on bottom of 4 plates, add the zucchini, chickpeas and tomatoes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula


Insalata di ceci e zucchine con pomodorini e rucola

* 250 g di ceci precotti
* 250 g di pomodorini
* 3 zucchine
* un mazzetto di rucola
* 2 scalogni
* 2 spicchi d'aglio
* mazzetto di basilico
* 1 cucchiaino di rosmarino tritato
* 1 cucchiaio di semi di sesamo
* sale
* olio extra vergine d'oliva

* Lavate e asciugate i pomodorini. Tagliateli a spicchietti, salateli e riunite in una terrina con basilico (lavato, asciugato e spezzettato).

* Tritate finemente gli scalogni e l'aglio e rosolateli, a fuoco medio, in una padella con 4 cucchiai d'olio EVO e il rosmarino tritato finemente.
Dopo 5 minuti aggiungete le zucchine tagliate a cubetti piccoli, salate e proseguite la cottura per altri 5 minuti.
Unite poi i ceci e lasciate insaporire per 5 minuti.
Lasciate intiepidire le verdure prima di unirle agli pomodorini e basilico.

* Tostate i semi di sesamo in una padella senza aggiungere i grassi, mescolando continuamente.

* Distribuite la rucola lavata, asciugata e affettata in fondo dei piatti, distribuite il misto di ceci e verdure sopra.
Cospargete i semi di sesamo e servite subito.


Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula


Salata od slanutka i tikvica s rajčicama i rikulom

* 250 g kuhanog slanutka
* 250 g cherry rajčica
* 3 zelene tikvice
* svežnjić rikule
* 2 glavice ljutike (ili 1 običnog crvenog luka)
* 2 češnja češnjaka
* svežnjić bosiljka
* 1 žličica nasjeckanog ružmarina
* 1 žlica sjemenki sezama
* sol
* maslinovo ulje

Rajčice operite posušite i narežitena četvrtine.
Stavite ih u zdjelu i posolite.
Dodajte oprane, posušene i nakidane listiće bosiljka i promiješajte.

Sitno nasjeckajte luk i češnjak pa popržite na 4 žlice maslinovog ulja zajedno sa sitno nasjeckanim listićima ružmarina.
Dodajte tikvice narezane na kockice od 1/2 cm, posolite lagano i pirjajte na srednje jakoj vatri oko 5 minuta.
Dodajte slanutak i pirjajte još 5 minuta sve skupa.
Ostavite da se povrće prohladi, a onda ga pomiješajte s rajčicama.

U međuvremenu popržite na suhoj tavi sjemenke sezama miješajući neprestano.

Na četiri tanjura složite nakidane listiće rikule, a preko nje mješavinu tikvica, slanutka i rajčica.
Pospite sjemenkama sezama i poslužite.

Chickpea and Zucchini Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula

20 May, 2011

Silence... and chocolate

Chocolate Ice Cream


I'm not in the mood for recipes or small talks today.
Longing for a moment of silence, but nothing to do unless I wait until after a certain hour at night, and even then interrupted by "Mommy, where's my bed?" Darling, you're sleeping in it.
Fear of antibiotics and love for cough syrup ("When a kid is sick, she has to take her syrup"), it's all part of growing up, right? And how to calm the moodiness of a 4-year-old, forced once again to stay at home with bronchitis (once more, only a bit worse than last time) if not making a chocolate treat she's been begging for for several days? And don't say "what a great mom", she had to ask me for it for a week or so.
I'm trying to pull on my side making strawberry ice cream, white chocolate yogurt ice cream with raspberry swirl, but no, they all ask for chocolate ice cream, so there you go.

Chocolate Ice Cream


What better opportunity though to try out my new ice cream moulds. Super easy with super wow effect, and much better than storebought.

Chocolate Ice Cream


Really easy: prepare your favourit ice cream (Chocolate Ice cream in this case), freeze it in the ice cream machine and then fill the moulds. Insert the wooden sticks and then freeze in the freezer until hard. Unmould and dip or cover with melted chocolate (I used milk, dark and white chocolate) that will harden almost instantly when meeting ice cold ice cream. Put back in the freezer for half an hour or longer and your kids can enjoy, but who says you can't enjoy, too  ^__^ ... and have your moment of silence.
Have a great day and a great weekend.

Chocolate Ice Cream

14 May, 2011

Little red... take two...

Strawberry Fool
A fool is a classical English dessert generally made by mixing puréed fruit, whipped cream, sugar, and possibly a flavouring agent like rose water or other.
It's origins (gooseberry fool in particular) may date back to the 15th century.
The original and most common fruit ingredient in fool was gooseberries, although other fruit like apples and raspberris were used as well.
Basicly, any fresh, frozen or syruped fruit can be used. I think the slightly tart types of fruit fit much better though.
The recipe I'm sharing today is slightly different, because it uses yogurt and sweetened condensed milk. The quantity of sugar you use may be slightly different when using other types of fruit as well as depend on your personal taste.
I definitely recommend you try it and find your favourite combination.
I really liked it. In fact, I liked it so much that I made ice cream with almost identical ingredients, using raspberries instead of strawberries. Still have to taste it, but I'm sure I'll love it, too.

Strawberry Fool
Strawberry Fool

(2 servings)
* 200 g fresh strawberries
* 1-2 TBspoons powdered sugar
* 1 organic lemon
* 100 ml heavy cream
* 100 g Greek style yogurt
* 4-5 TBspoons sweetened condensed milk
* a couple strawberries for garnish

* Wash and dry the lemon. Grate the zest finely and squeeze all the juice.

* Carefully wash and dry the strawberries. Hull them and then cut one half into small pieces, and purée in a blender the the other half. Add 1 or 2 TBspoons of powdered sugar (depending how sweet you like it and on how sweet your strawberries are), 1 TBspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest to the puréed strawberries. Add the puréed strawberries with the previosly chopped ones.

* Whip the cream using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Add the yogurt, the sweetened condensed milk, the rest of the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest. Mix shortly with an electric mixer just to get an even mixture.

* Put a little cream on bottom of two glasses, follow with a layer of strawberries and continue alternating them.
Serve chilled, decorating with fresh strawberries.


Strawberry Fool
Fool è un classico dessert inglese, semplice e goloso. Quello originale si preparava già tanti secoli fa, ed era preparato di solito con l'uva spina, ma anche con le mele e lamponi.
Di solito Fool si prepara con pochi ingredienti semplici: frutta fresca o surgelata (o anche sciroppata), panna, zucchero e un po’ di acqua di rose, vaniglia o liquore a piacere.
A me è piaciuta invece questa versione con lo yogurt e latte condensato. Tanto che il giorno dopo ho preparato anche il gelato con ingredienti quasi identici.

Strawberry Fool
(Fool alle fragole)


(per 2 persone)
* 200 g di fragole fresche
* 1 o 2 cucchiai di zucchero a velo
* 1 limone non trattato
* 100 ml di panna fresca
* 100 g di yogurt greco
* 4-5 cucchiai di latte condensato zuccherato
* un paio di fragole per decorare


* Lavate con una spazzola il limone, asciugatelo bene e poi grattugiate la scorza e spremete il succo.


* Lavate e asciugate le fragole. Togliete il picciolo e poi tagliate metà a pezzettini piccoli, e frullate l'altra metà con 1 o 2 cucchiai di zucchero a velo, 1 cucchiaio di succo di limone e 1/2 cucchiaino di scorza grattugiata di limone. Mescolate le fragole frullate con quelle tagliate a pezzettini.


* Montate la panna fresca in maniera non troppo ferma, aggiungete lo yogurt, il latte condensato, il resto del succo di limone, e 1 cucchiaino di scorza grattugiata. Mescolate bene con le fruste.


* Distribuite la crema e le fragole in due bicchieri, alternando gli strati.
Lasciate nel frigo fino al momento di servire, e decorate con le fragole fresche.


Strawberry Fool
 Voćni Fool je vrsta klasičnog engleskog deserta. Navodno je onaj izvorni (s ogrozdom) pripreman još jako, jako davno u 15. ili 16 stoljeću. Jako jednostavne i brze pripreme, ali pravo je osvježenje, naročito ljeti.
Uglavnom je originalna verzija ovog deserta puno jednostavnija: jagode i umućeno slatko vrhnje, u koje se doda voće po želji (malo zgnječeno ili izmiksano) i ružina vodica, vanilija ili neki liker po želji i ovisno o voću koje koristite.
Meni se svidjela ova verzija s jogurtom i zaslađenim kondenziranim mlijekom, s dodatkom limuna naravno jer mu daje osvježavajuću notu u okusu i mirisu.
Grčki jogurt, za one kojima nije dostupan za kupiti, je tzv. procijeđeni jogurt. Možete ga pripremiti vrlo jednostavno tako što ćete obični (čvrsti, ne tekući) jogurt ostaviti da se cijedi nekoliko sati kroz muslinsku krpu ili kroz papirni filtar za kavu. Na taj način dobit ćete čvršći i manje kiseo jogurt, koji osim u ovom desertu možete jesti i jednostavan uz samo dodatak voća, meda itd., ili kao dodatak za kolače.
Ako pak ne možete naći kondenzirano mlijeko, možete ga i izostaviti, dodajte malo više vrhnja i zasladite po okusu, šećerom u prahu.

Strawberry Fool
(Fool od jagoda)


(za 2 osobe):
* 200 g jagoda
* 1-2 žlice šećera u prahu
* 1 neprskani limun
* 100 ml slatkog vrhnja za šlag (svježeg, nezaslađenog)
* 100 g grčkog jogurta
* 5 žlica zaslađenog kondenziranog mlijeka
* par jagoda za ukras


* Limun dobro operite četkom, posušite, pa naribajte sitno koricu i iscijedite sok.


* Jagode operite, posušite i odstranite im peteljke.
Polovicu jagoda narežite i stavite u zdjelu.
Drugu polovicu izmiksajte u blenderu ili štapnim mikserom s 1 žlicom limunovog soka, 1/2 žličice naribane limunove korice i 1 do 2 žlice šećera u prahu (ovisi koliko volite slatko i koliko su slatke jagode).
Pomiješajte izmiksane i nasjeckane jagode.


* Mutite mikserom slatko vrhnje u ne previše čvrst šlag.
Dodajte jogurt, kondenzirano mlijeko, sok od 1/2 limuna i 1 žličicu naribane korice.
Kratko opet sve izmiješajte mikserom da se ujednači


* Slažite u dvije čaše ili zdjelice naizmjenično jagode i kremu od vrhnja.
Rashladite par sati u hladnjaku do posluživanja.

Strawberry Fool

09 May, 2011

Little red...

Strawberry vinegar

If there's a fruit that I've always loved, uncoditionally and immensely, then it must be strawberry.
Even though they can be bought all year round now, I still love to think of them as spring fruit. And I still remember the emotions and thrill when my mom would get home from work with a surprise in a brown paper bag. The first strawberries of the season were definitely not the best one could try, but the feeling to be eating the best sweet in the world was there for sure.
Strawberries just don't have that same flavour, in any sense.
But still, I like to play with them.
They've found their way to my kitchen and not only in cakes and desserts, but in salads and risotto, as well.
The idea, however, to preserve some of their precious smell and flavour was intriguing, and I gave it a try.
So I'm sharing two ideas with you today, two simple recipes that I've tried last week.
I'm sure the colour and intense scent and flavour of this red vinegar will appeal to you as much as they did to me. And I'm looking forward to using it later on to add some spring feeling to my salads. I guess I should make another batch, after this trial one.
The dried strawberries, too, are like concentrated strawberry flavoring - all natural.

My daughter said yesterday, this salad was just a perfect Mother's Day salad.
Mixed salad with asparagus and strawberries

Strawberry vinegar


175 g fresh strawberries
250 ml white vinegar

Cut the washed, hulled and dried strawberries into small pieces.
Put them in a clean jar and pour the vinegar over them.
Close the jar tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days.
Filter the vinegar through a fine mash sieve and pour into a bottle.
It will keep for a year.
You can use it to add some spring flavour to your salads or for fish marinade.
I've also been told that it can be added to meringues. Have to try that yet.

Dried strawberries
Dried strawberries

Wash, dry and hull the strawberries. Slice them thinly and place in a single layer on a piece of baking paper.
Place the baking paper directly on the oven rack, in the oven preheated to 80°C.
It will take several hours (it took me 2,5 to 3 hours) for strawberries to e dry and crispy at edges.

Store them in an airtight container and keep for several months.
You can add them to cakes and other desserts, to your cereals or yogurt.


Strawberry vinegar
Aceto alle fragole


175 g di fragole fresce
250 g di aceto bianco


Lavate e asciugate le fragole.
Tagliatele a pezzettini e metteteli in un vasetto di vetro.
Versateci l'aceto, chiudete bene e lasciate riposare a temperatura ambiente per 3 giorni.
Filtrate l'aceto atraverso un colino a maglie fitte, versatelo in una botiglietta, e conservate per un anno.
Usatelo per condire le insalate o per marinare il pesce.

Dried strawberries
Fragole essicate


Lavate e asciugate le fragole mature, ma ben sode (quantità a volontà).
Tagliatele a fettine sottili (2-3 mm) e stendetele sulla griglia del forno foderata con carta da forno in un unico strato.
Mettetele nel forno ventilato riscaldato a 80°C per qualche ora, o meglio finché diventino secce e friabili ai bordi. A me ci sono volute circa 2,5 o 3, dipende dallo spessore.


Conservatele in un contenitore a chiusura ermetica per qualche mese.
Potete utilizzarle per aromatizzare i dolci, o aggiungere nei cereali a colazione.


Strawberry vinegar
Ocat s jagodama

175 g jagoda
250 g bijelog octa
Nasjeckajte jagode i stavite ih u staklenku. Zalijte s octom (ja sam stavila bijeli vinski ocat).
Zatvorite i ostavite na sobnoj temperaturi (ne na hladnom) 3 dana. Zatim procijedite kroz gusto mrežasto cjedilo ili gazu i koristite za salate ili za mariniranje ribe.
Rok trajanja mu je godinu dana.


Dried strawberries
Sušene jagode


Narežite jagode (količinu po želji) na tanke kriške (pazite da su su vam sve iste debljine).
Rasporedite ih na papir za pečenje koji stavite izravno na rešetku u pećnici.
Sušite ih u ventiliranoj pećnici zagrijanoj na 80°C - trebat će vam nekoliko sati (meni je trebalo 2,5 do 3 sata), dok ne postanu suhe i prhke na rubovima.


Čuvajte ih u hermetički zatvorenoj posudi nekoliko mjeseci.
Možete ih dodati u kolače, u žitarice za doručak, sladolede, jogurt itd.

04 May, 2011

As long as there's sunshine...

Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries

The weather forcast was saying rain or showers ever since last weekend, and to spite them, the sun shined almost all the time, temperature reaching 24°C yesterday. Very nice and warm, and no need to say I was happy that the forcasts were wrong... until this morning. Just waking up and hearing the rain drops outside makes me wish I didn't have to get up from bed all day. But no help, a pretty busy day ahead.
The week behind us, my younger daughter, S. turned four, had two cakes on two different days, as it seems to have become a rule in this family to celebrate every birthday twice. She got her Inter jersey (so did her sister, two months ago - I guess there's a slight hint that my husband wanted a son, or he wouldn't be turning his daughters into football fans), and she hasn't taken it off for four days in a row. Going to bed in the evening she makes sure the jersey's "sleeping" next to her, and as soon as she opens her eyes in the morning it's the first thing she's looking for.
And my big girl, F. is so proud of herself - last September she started swimming classes saying she wanted to become a swimming champion, regardless of the fact that she still had to learn how to swim, and in a couple months she not only learned how to swim but moved to an advanced class and she's enjoying it a lot. Not that there weren't a few "rainy days" when she almost gave up, sure there were. Little crisis, like when they changed her swimming instructor, and she refused to go in for that reason ^__^
This evening she'll be singing with her school choir, so I really need to get ready, fill my bag with paper tissues... seriously, why do I get so emotional over these little things? But that's life. Little rain and little sunshine, a surprise here and there, a mixture of different flavours every day.
Just like my lunch today.
Flavourful, colourful, refreshing and tasty. May sound like an unusual combination, but it's actually great.

Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries


Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries
(from Cucina naturale magazine, May 2011)

4 servings:
* 400 g fresh asparagus
* 280 g basmati rice
* 150 g strawberries
* 5 scallions
* 1/2 teaspoon pink pepper corn
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* salt

* Cut the strawberries into wedges. Pestle the pink pepper corns with sugar and add them to the strawberries. Cover and let marinate.
* Chop finely the scallions (only the white part) and sauté in a skillet with 4 TBspoons of EVOO.
Break the aspragus sprouts in the bottom part and discard the hard bottom pieces. Slice the rest of the sprouts lenghtwise (mine were really tiny so I only cut them in half).
Add the asparagus to the skillet with the scallions, add a spoonful of hot water, salt and let simmer covered for about 10-12 minutes.
* In the meantime cook the rice: rinse it first and then put in a casserole with 500 ml (2 cups) water. When the water starts boiling, add salt, cover and cook on low heat until all the water has been absorbed.
Transfer the cooked rice on a trey, season with a little olive oil and mix with a fork.
* Add the rice and the strawberries to the skillet with the asparagus, stir and serve warm.


Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries

Riso basmati con asparagi e fragole
(da Cucina naturale, maggio 2011)


per 4 persone:
* 400 g di asparagi
* 280 g di riso basmati
* 150 g di fragole
* 5 cipollotti
* 1/2 cucchiaino di pepe rosa in grani
* 1/2 cucchiaino di zucchero
* olio Extra vergine d'oliva
* sale


* Tagliate le fragole a fettine. Pestate lo zucchero insieme al pepe e aggiungetelo alle fragole. Coprite e lasciate marinare.
* Tritate i cipollotti e soffriggeteli sul fuoco dolce con 4 cucchiai di olio EVO.
Spezzate gli asparagi nella parte bassa e scartate la parte dura e legnosa. Tagliate il resto a fettine nel senso di lunghezza (i miei erano molto sottili e li ho tagliati solo a metà).
Aggiungete gli asparagi nella padella con i cipollotti, salate, bagnate con un cucchiaio di acqua bollente e lasciate cuocere coperto per circa 10 minuti, bagnando, se necessario, con altra acqua calda.
* Sciacquate il riso e mettetelo in una casseruola con 500 ml di acqua. Quando l'acqua comincia a bollire, abbassate la fiamma, salate e cuocete coperto finché tutta l'acqua non sarà assorbita (circa 12 minuti).
Stendete il riso su un piatto grande o su un vassoio, conditelo con un pochino d'olio e sgranatelo con una forchetta.
* Unite il riso e le fragole agli asparagi. Mescolate bene e servite, caldo o tiepido.



Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries

Basmati riža sa šparogama i jagodama
(iz časopisa Cucina naturale, svibanj 2011.)


za 4 osobe:
* 400 g svježih šparoga
* 280 g riže basmati
* 150 g jagoda
* 5 kom. mladog luka
* 1/2 žličice ružičastog papra u zrnu
* 1/2 žličice šećera
* Ekstra djevičansko maslinovo ulje
* sol


* Narežite jagode na kriškice i stavite ih u manju zdjelu. Izmrvite šećer i papar u mužaru pa dodajte jagodama. Pokrijte i ostavite da se mariniraju.
* Sitno nasjeckajte mladi luk (samo bijeli dio) pa ga na laganoj vatri pirjajte u tavi s otprilike 4 žlice maslinovog ulja.
Šparoge operite, odlomite donji drvenasti dio pa ih narežite uzdužno. Dodajte šparoge u tavu s lukom, ulijte i žlicu vruće vode, malo posolite pa pirjajte pokriveno na srednje jakoj vatri 10-ak minuta. Promiješajte povremeno i dodajte po potrebi opet žlicu vruće vode.
* Rižu isperite i stavite kuhati s 500 ml vode. Kad prokuha, posolite, smanjite vatru, i kuhajte dok riža ne upije svu vodu (oko 10-12 minuta).
Istresite kuhanu rižu na veći tanjur ili pladanj, dodajte malo ulja i miješajte vilicom da bude rastresita.
* Dodajte rižu u tavu sa šparogama, umiješajte jagode.
Poslužite toplo ili mlačno.


Basmati Rice with Asparagus and Strawberries