Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Nero d’Avola are all well-known and much loved Italian grape varieties. But did you know that Italy actually has over 700 (!) indigenous grape varieties? Yes, that’s a lot to taste through. I’m thrilled to report that I at least made a start by getting introduced to Susumaniello, an ancient grape native to Puglia region, the “heel” of Italy. Continue reading Susumaniello, The Mysterious Italian At My Dinner Table
I have to admit it’s a rather rare occasion that a meal coming out of my kitchen doesn’t contain a representative of the world fauna. But there are days when your fridge happens to have 5 different veg, all with best before date being yesterday while the chicken is enjoying its deep winter sleep in the freezer. A girl needs to eat after all and the outcome of my vegetarian mission turned out surprisingly delicious! Here’s how I did it:
Pack of Brussels sprouts
Pack of broccoli florets
Pack of baby courgettes
2 tbsp of low fat crème fraîche
2 tbsp of low fat mayo
1 tbsp of low fat cream cheese
1/2 pack of low fat grated cheddar cheese
Seasoning: salt, white pepper, nutmeg, thyme
Boil the veg in salted water – my Brussels sprouts were quite big in size so I put them into the water first, followed by the broccoli and courgettes cut in bite size pieces a few minutes after. While the veg is boiling mix the crème fraîche, mayo and cream cheese in a bowl. Drain the vegetables as soon as they are almost done but still have a bit of crunch to them, transfer into a backing dish and pour the dairy mix over, season with pepper, nutmeg and bit of thyme and more salt if needed (just taste a piece of veg for salt first). I also added half a handful of grated cheese before mixing everything thoroughly so that all vegetables are evenly coated with the the creamy mixture and seasoning. Top with the remaining grated cheese and put this baby into preheated oven (~180C) for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Et voila, surprisingly yummy and healthy meal where even the biggest meat and poultry fans wouldn’t notice it is vegetarian (I think that’s thanks to all the cheese ;-))
This dish is perfect as a meal on its own but can also be enjoyed as a side dish to meat or poultry of your choice. And YES, you are right thinking of Christmas dinner! It will be a wonderful accompaniment to your turkey or any other roast you decide to make.
Variations: to transform this innocent dish into a filling guilty pleasure use full fat dairy products – this will certainly enhance the flavours even though it’s going to feel more heavy in your stomach. To make it even more evil add chopped pieces of bacon or pancetta. Whatever variation you choose, add flaked toasted almonds for a special twist – the crunch will add texture to the dish and match wonderfully with the creamy vegetables.