Monday, 10 October 2011

Aubergine boats

The world was afloat. Heavy clouds hung low on the horizon, and grey waters splashed the sidewalks. The tall buildings of tomorrow had fallen already. Distant ships fought against rising waves, and a dimmed sun glowed coldly in the ashen sky. It was dreadful. It was horrible. It was a nightmare. Celestial Dragon woke up with a start. Panicked and sweating, he looked blankly at the ceiling. Divine Cherry was still sleeping. Celestial Dragon looked at her in the twilight of the early hours. She was beautiful; divine, really. 'No kidding,' he thought. Soon after Divine Cherry woke up as well.
'I've had a dream,' she said.
'Well all have,' Celestial Dragon replied.
'Maybe, but mine was made of aubergine.'
Celestial Dragon left it at that.
Six hours later, when Celestial Dragon returned to his palace, he found Divine Cherry at the grips with a just-out-of-the oven boat-like aubergine. And he saw that it was good. And when they sat down to partake of the meal Divine Cherry had laid out for them, he knew that it was very good.
'How did you do it?' asked Celestial Dragon in wonder.
And this is what Divine Cherry replied:

'First, I cut the two aubergines in half and carved them, grid-like. However, I made sure to leave about half a centimetre around the rim intact. I then, with a spoon, gauged out the inside of the aubergines, which, due to the cuts I had made previously, fell out in cute little cubes. Again, however, I made sure to leave about half a cm of flesh on the bottom of my little veggie-bowl. I then salted the aubergines, sprayed them with a bit of olive oil and put them in the preheated oven at 200°C for 20mins. Another way of doing it, if for some reasons one would have trouble with the number "20", would be to leave them in the oven until the flesh on the inside of aubergine is well cooked.
While the veggie-boats – and aren't they cute? – were roasting in the oven, I chopped half an onion and lightly fried it in a pan with some olive oil. You know, standard procedure. I also cut the carrot and the celery stick, but not too small, for I wanted for you to be able to taste them at the end. I then added everything to the slowly simmering onions and lightly fried them as well. I also added a bit of water when I saw that they were kind of drying out. Anyway, once they were nearly done, I added the scooped out aubergine flesh as well as the olives I had already cut. In another pan, I prepared the tomato sauce. Do you remember that dish you made, long ago, where you added a bit of vegetable stock to the milk? Well I used that one, I hope you don't mind. I put the tomato sauce to simmer with a bit of oil and added a bit of warm milk with a fragment of melted stock as well. Now once the vegetables were good and done, I simply added the tomato sauce in there and stirred well.
By now, the veggie-boats were ready as well. The next step should be obvious. Yes, I filled them with the vegetables-in-tomato-sauce. I then generously sprinkled the cheese on top of them and shoved them in the oven for another 15mins, et voilà. I hope you like it.'

Celestial Dragon nodded in sincere approval. He was sure that no nightmare would come to haunt his dreams that night. He looked at his plate, lifted his fork, observed it, and smiled at Divine Cherry.

Ingredients (serves 2):
-2 aubergines
-half a carrot
-half a stick of celery
-half an onion
-a glass of tomato sauce (to which you add a tbsp of milk with vegetable stock)
-10 green olives
-a generous helping of Parmigiano
-a piece of mild Cheddar (or any easily melting cheese with not too strong a flavour)

See above for the recipe.

Ricetta in italiano
Per 2 persone
-2 melanzane
-Mezza carota
-Mezza costa di sedano
-Mezza cipolla
-Un bicchiere di sugo al pomodoro (+un cucchiaio di latte e un frammento di dado vegetale)
-10 olive verdi
-Abbondante parmigiano
-Un pezzo di cheddar (o formaggio che si fonde facilmente dal sapore non troppo forte)

Tagliare a meta’ le melanzane nel senso della lunghezza e inciderle a griglia (fare delle incisioni con il coltello in diagonale prima in un senso e poi nell’altro) . Lasciando intatto circa mezzo centrimetro intorno al bordo. Scavare la parte centrale della melanzana. La polpa a questo punto si stacchera’ gia’ a cubetti. Avere cura di lasciare uno strato di polpa di almeno mezzo centrimetro abbondante attaccata alla buccia. Salare le barchette di melanzana, cospargere un filo d’olio e infornare a forno caldo a 200°C per 20 minuti (o fino a quando la polpa sara’ ben cotta).
Nel frattempo tagliare la cipolla a fettine e metterla in una padella con un po’ d’olio. Tagliare anche le carote e il sedano a fettine sottili (ma non tritare, i pezzettini alla fine si dovranno sentire). Aggiungere queste verdure alla cipolla e portare a cottura aggiungendo anche mezza tazzina d’acqua se le verdure di dovessero asciugare troppo. Quando le altre verdure sono quasi pronte aggiungere i cubetti di melanzana e le olive tagliate a pezzetti e rosolare. A parte praparare il sugo: mescolare alla passata un cucchiaio di latte caldo in cui avrete fatto sciogliere una puntina di dado vegetale granulare (in realta’ questo sugo era una avanzo ed era gia’ preparato cosi. Poiche per la ricetta vi serve poco pomodoro, potete farne di piu’ e metterlo via o usare anche voi della salsa di pomodoro avanzata in precedenza). Quando le verdure sono cotte, aggiungere il sugo di pomodoro e ultimare la cottura.
Farcite le barchette di melanzana con la padellata. Tritare grossolanamente il formaggio e versarlo sulle barchette farcite, spolverizzare di parmigiano grattuggiato e infornare per 15 minuti finche’ il formaggio avra’ un bel colore dorato.

And Spread the Mess


  1. Super appetitosa la barchetta con il suo carico di verdurine spadellate!!!!...gnam...gnam :)