11 August, 2012

Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Days are passing pretty slowly waiting for the baby to decide to come out. And even though it's hot, and I should be spending days resting my swollen feet, I just can't sit still. Particularly because the alternative to cooking dinner every day would simply be take-away pizza, and I don't find that much appealing in this period... or ever, to say the truth.
On the other hand, thanks God it's summer, plenty of fruit and vegetables really help prepare some simple and yet delicious dishes, from soups to desserts.
I'm a little disappointed with my zucchini plants this year. For the first time in four years since I started my own garden, the zucchini plants look really miserable. So far I've been able to collect just a few zucchinis and flowers. For the rest, they start growing and once they've reached some 5 cm they turn yellow and die.
Considering that zucchini are one my favorite vegetables, this is pretty sad for me.
The recipe I'm sharing with you today is typical for Tuscan cuisine, more precisely the area of Camaiore in Versilia. There's also a sweet version of this dish, but I must say I haven't had the opportunity to try that yet.
This recipe, however, once you try it, might become your favourite zucchini recipe this summer. It's really delicious, simple and quick to prepare. Grab a piece!


Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

* 300 g young zucchini (possibly with flowers)
* 2 scallions
* 2 eggs
* 4 TBspoons flour
* 4 TBspoons grated parmigiano cheese
* 75 ml milk
* 1 clove of garlic
* salt and pepper
* extra virgin olive oil

Cut the zucchini into thin slices. Salt them and place into a colander for 20 minutes so they can lose part of the water.
Rinse them and dry on kitchen paper.
Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk them with flour. Add the milk diluted with enough water to get 125 ml of liquid. You should get a rather thin batter.
Stir in the zucchini, add the zucchini blossoms (cut into strips), the finely sliced scallions, finely chopped garlic, grated parmigiano, salt and peper to your taste.
Pour everything into a shallow 20-centimeter oiled round pan. Drizzle a little more oil on top.

     Tuscan "Scarpaccia"        Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Bake in the oven preheated to 220°C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with shaves of parmigiano.



Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Scarpaccia Toscana

* 300 g zucchine novelle (possibilmente con i fiori)
* 2 cipollotti
* 2 uova
* 4 cucchiai di farina
* 4 cucchiai di parmigiano grattugiato
* 75 ml di latte
* 1 spicchio d'aglio
* sale, pepe
* olio extra vergine d'oliva

Tagliate le zucchine a rondelle sottili. Salatele e lasciatele in un colino per una ventina di minuti. Poi asciugatele con la carta da cucina.
Se avete dei fiori, tagliateli a strisce e aggiungeteli alle zucchine.
Mescolate in una ciotola le uova con la farina. Diluite il latte con tanta acqua da ottenere 125 ml di liquido e unite alle uova. Mescolate bene per ottenere una pastella liscia senza grumi.
Aggiungete le zucchine e i fiori alla pastella, unite le cipolline tagliate a rondelle sottili, l'aglio sminuzzato, il parmigiano, sale e pepe.
Mescolate bene e versate il tutto in una teglia oleata di 20 cm di diametro. Il tortino dovrebbe avere uno spessore di massimo 1 cm.
Mettetelo a cuocere nel forno già riscaldato a 220°C per circa 20 minuti o finché dorato in superficie.
Al momento di servire, completate il piatto con delle scaglie di parmigiano non troppo sottili.



Tuscan "Scarpaccia"

Toskanska "scarpaccia"

* 300 g mladih zelenih tikvica (po mogućnosti s cvijetom)
* 2 mlada luka
* 2 jaja
* 4 žlice brašna
* 4 žlice naribanog parmezana
* 75 ml mlijeka
* 1 češanj bijelog luka
* sol, papar
* maslinovo ulje

Odaberite mlade tikvice, da nisu veće od 10 cm.
Narežite ih na tanke kolutiće, posolite i ostavite u cjedilu 20-ak minuta da se ocijedi voda iz njih.
Posušite ih na kuhinjskom papiru.
Ako imate cvjetove narežite i njih.
Razmutite pjenjačom jaja s brašnom, pa dodajte mlijeko koje ste razrijedili s toliko vode da dobijete 125 ml tekućine.
Umiješajte u ovo tekuće tijesto tikvice (i cvjetove), na tanke kolutiće narezan luk, usitnjeni češnjak, parmezan, posolite i popaprite po ukusu.
Istresite smjesu u nauljen okrugli kalup promjera 20 cm - visina tijesta neka bude najviše 1 cm.
Polijte s malo ulja po površini i stavite peći u pećnicu zagrijanu na 220°C, oko 20 minuta odnosno dok ne porumeni na površini.
Pri posluživanju dodajte na površinu listiće parmezana.



02 August, 2012

Watermelon granita

Watermelon granita

I don't know if you are hating this heat as much as I am or you are happy with it like my husband. All I know I'm sick tired of sweating all day and night (even with the airconditioning on), not being able to go out of the house (I'm scared I might just faint in the middle of the street). Ok, it's a particular summer for me as well, and for the first time in years we'll be staying at home in August. So that makes it a bit more difficult. Just the idea of being confined in the house and going out only when really necessary makes me scream.
Although I haven't stopped baking, the most required food at the moment, and easiest to prepare, are frozen desserts, ice creams, ice popsicles and similar.
And kids particularly like granita. Two years ago, visiting Sicily, I had an opportunity to taste THE best granitas in the world... actually, their taste is out of this world. Flavors going from fantastic lemon to almond (the flavor I think you can get only there), and all other fruit you can imagine.
Granita is fairly simple to make. All you need is some fruit juice, sugar and water. Mixed, frozen and then reduced to finest ice crystals that melt gradually.
The watermelon granita is even more simple to make, since it's sweet and mainly consisting of water. You may add some flavoring like vanilla, lemon, grapefruit or orange juice to adjust it your taste.

Watermelon granita

Watermelon granita

* 500 g watermelon pulp (seedless)
* 1-2 TBspoons sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or juice from 1/2 lemon

Ccut the watermelon pulp into cubes and puree in a food processor or a blender. Strain through a mesh sieve just in case there are some seeds left.
Add the sugar and the vanilla extract or lemon juice (adapt the quantity of sugar to your taste and depending on the sweetness of your watermelon). Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the mixture into a freezer adapt container and freeze. When it's almost frozen take out and grate/stir with a fork.
Put back into the freezer until completely frozen.
Chill the glasses you'll be using to serve granita.
Again, grate the frozen mixture with a fork and fill the glasses - the point is to have very fine ice crystals that will gradually melt.
Add some mini chocolate chips if you like to fake watermelon seeds.


Watermelon granita

Granita all'anguria


* 500 g di polpa di anguria (senza semi)
* 1-2 cucchiai di zucchero
* 1/2 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia o succo di 1/2 limone


Tagliate la polpa d'anguria, pulita dalla buccia e semi, a cubetti e frullatela. Setacciatela per togliere eventuali semi rimasti.
Aggiungete lo zucchero (regolatevi in base al gusto personale e alla dolcezza dell'anguria) e l'estratto di vaniglia o succo di limone. Mescolate bene per far sciogliere lo zucchero e trasferite in un contenitore adatto al freezer. Coprite e lasciate congelare. 
Quando la massa si è quasi completamente congelate togliete il contenitore dal freezer e grattatela con una forchetta. Rimettete il contenitore nel freezer e lasciate congelare completamente.
Raffreddate i bicchieri che userete per servire la granita.
Grattate di nuovo la massa ghiacciata con una forchetta e riempite i bicchieri. A piacere aggiungete le gocce di cioccolato fondente come i semi d'anguria finti. Servite subito.
Per variare potete al posto della vaniglia o limone aggiungere il succo di un pompelmo o succo di 2 arance.



Watermelon granita

Granita od lubenice


* 500 g očišćenog mesa lubenice (bez kore i sjemenki)
* 1-2 žlicešećera
* 1/2 žličice čistog ekstrakta vanilije ili  sok 1/2 limuna


Narežite lubenicu na kockice i izmiksajte u blenderu da dobijete pire (ako vidite da vam je ostalo još sjemenki unutra možete dobivenu kašu dodatno procijediti kroz cjedilo).
Dodajte šećer, ekstrakt vanilije ili sok limuna.
Miješajte dok se šećer potpuno ne istopi.
Količinu šećera prilagodite svom ukusu i slatkoći lubenice.
Uspite smjesu u posudu pogodnu za zamrzavanje, pokrijte i stavite u zamrzivač.
Kad se skoro skroz smrzlo izgrebite/izmiješajte vilicom, pa vratite natrag u zamrzivač da se potpuno ščvrsne.
Čaše u kojima ćete posluživati granitu stavite također u zamrzivač.
Izgrebite smrznutu smjesu vilicom i stavite u čaše.
Po želji dodajte kapljice tamne čokolade (lažne sjemenke) i poslužite.
Varijacije: dodajte lubenici iscijeđeni sok 1 grejpfruta ili sok 2 naranče (u tom slučaju povećajte količinu šećera).

Watermelon granita