Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Food and love in troubled times...

I had very mixed feelings about writing this blog. There are terrible scenes in our cities, the financial markets are in meltdown. What interest can there be in a frivalous post about food? But then...

I remembered the words of Mr Jonny Wong, a very dear friend (and wonderful cook) who is sadly no longer here. Whenever things got tricky, Jonny would smile and say:
"In with anger, out with love."  
I had wanted to share this recipe because I love it. I think others will love it too. And in troubled times what's better than food and love? 
Involtini – for 4  

This delicious dish is courtesy of Frances, another dear friend, who served it for us last week on my birthday. The weather was kind and we ate outside in lovely company and beautiful surroundings.
It's called Involtini - though I kept thinking I was being offered a hot malted milk drink...

It's a brilliant dish for large groups of people and ideal for vegetarians and coeliacs (just replace the bulgar wheat with quinoa).

Frances served it with griddled asparagus and gorgeous flat roasts. You serve it how you wish!
What to do and how to do it
To make the tomato sauce... (though you can cheat and buy a jar)

  • 2 tins peeled toms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cut finely and fry garlic in olive oil with chilli and oregano. Let soften and then add 2 tins of toms, allow the sauce to cook for 1 hr until the toms start to disintegrate. Set aside.

For involtini...

  • 4 Aubergines
Cut aubergines in 5mm slices lengthways and griddle. Set aside.
  • 100g bulgar wheat or quinoa 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 50g pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
  • 200g feta
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs capers, drained and chopped
1. Cook Quinoa, or put bulgar wheat in a bowl with bowling water. Drain.
2. Mix with all other ingredients
3. Place a teaspoon of mixture on an aubergine slice and roll. Repeat.
4. Place in baking tray, tightly packed together
5. Cover with tom sauce (not too much)
6. Sprinkle with some crumbled feta, pistachios, spring onions (to make it look pretty)
6. Roast in oven for 30-45 mins
7. no need to serve immediately (can be eaten warm rather than hot)

Enjoy xxx 
Happy Birthday to me...