I’m not a fan of bell peppers, but….

I blogged the other day about this amazing summer salad I had. Meet this delicious Mediterranean summer salad – perfect for a warm summer day. It also keeps nicely til the next day (I’m sure it would keep longer, except that it’s so delicious that it might not last that long). I love sour things, but I never really thought about including pickled ingredients in my salad – I can’t imagine sour gurkens in my salad. But this, this was so delicious that I’m going to have to try out more recipes like that. Even my Dad, who isn’t a big fan of salad, said that the salad was yummy and that he’d like to eat it again soon. (And yes, I need to improve the lighting on my pictures).

summer salad

mediterranean summer salad on cress

We ate the salad with homemade flatbreads – another Smitten Kitchen recipe. So good! You might think that the mixture of honey, thyme and salt is weird, but it comes together nicely, with the finished object being more than it’s components. I’ll be making this one again, soon.

flatbreads

flatbreads with freshly crushed sea salt

Advertisements

Hup Holland Hup

Hup Holland Hup means as much as Go Holland Go! Holland is actually only a part of the Netherlands, but is often used as a synonym in common language. Anyway, if you’ve ever been to a Dutch national soccer game, or seen the World Cup or something like that, you might have seen that the Dutch team usually wears orange – an eye-searing orange. It’s almost neon orange. Even though the Dutch national flag is red, white and blue, the color orange is the color of the royal house, and nowadays it basically represents national pride.

What’s the point of this? Well, I made freshly pressed orange juice today. Very very orange juice. Almost “Dutch” orange juice. I figured I’d be a bit of smartass 🙂 And by the way, and a (orange/lemon) juicer is a marvelous thing – if you’re frequently buying fresh pressed orange juice, you might want to seriously consider investing in a press. Yes it takes up a lot more space than a little hand juicer, but it’s so amazingly fast and convenient. And fresh pressed orange juice is so much better than your standard juice out of a box, or worse, one of those frozen orange juice concentrate things.

oranges

oranges

orange juice

freshly pressed orange juice

Rat(atouille)


Pixar movies are some of my favorite movies. I’ve loved almost all of them – the Cars movies didn’t do it for me, but all of the others are among my all-time favorites movies. They’re fun for kids and interesting for adults – there’s just something so sweet about them. Since I love food (who doesn’t?), it’s no wonder that I loved the movie Ratatouille. I mean, how can you not like a movie about a rat that aspires to become a cook? So gosh-darned cute! (Btw, I think that working at Pixar has to be awesome. I saw a documentary once, where offices look like a cross between a playroom, comic store, jungle gym, all kinds of comfortable sitting, and bikes in the hallway. Plus a fun and creative workplace. I want a job like that).

When Ego, the critic comes to the restaurant to critique the restaurant, Remy (the rat) decides to cook ratatouille. (On a side note, the part with the rats helping out with the cooking always makes me grin, especially where they are steam cleaned). Remy also cooks ratatouille again for Ego once they open up their own restaurant.

Ratatouille is one of those dishes that has never thrilled me. It’a late summer dish, combining eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion and garlic – at least that’s the traditional version from the Provence, although people seem to customize it to taste. But somehow I’d rather not eat a vegetable stew in late summer. I’d rather eat something like that in the fall or winter, when it’s cold and blustery – which defeats the purpose of making it with fresh, ripe vegetables. Of course, there’s also the version where the ingredients is layered and served as a casserole. But I’m not a casserole fan either, so it seems like ratatouille will be one of those things that I won’t make.

ratatouille tart

Smitten Kitchen's Ratatouille Tart

Or not? How about a ratatouille tart? Puffed pastry with a thin layer of tomato sauce, thinly sliced vegetables arranged prettily, topped with feta and fresh herbs. It’s almost like a ratatouille pizza/egg-free quiche. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I bet a ratatouille pizza would be yummy too. And I’m sure it’s also delicious cold. I might not be best friends with traditional ratatouille, but I can easily imagine enjoying Ratatouille ‘derivatives.’