Savoury Courgette Tart

I don’t call this recipe a quiche because the method used for the Italian torta salata is slightly different. For these sort of homemade savoury tarts, Italians don’t add eggs to the short crust pastry, unlike the French. Also, a quiche will require the mixture of creme fraiche with the egg inside the filling, while in torta salata we use cheese (usually ricotta or chewy cheese like mozzarella or sweet provola) as the main ingredient that brings the flavours together. Admittedly, I had never made a torta salata before, and I was a bit disappointed with the results of this recipe, inspired by this one on Giallo Zafferano. I felt that the pastry should have been blind baked before adding the ingredients, as the bottom of my tart stayed very white, even if the top crust was well cooked. It was crispy and had a nice texture, but I decided not to use pancetta, so that my vegetarian friends could also eat it. This made the flavours a little bland, because I didn’t think to use a stronger flavoured cheese to make up for it.
Overall, I suggest you blind bake, and if like me you want this recipe to be vegetarian, choose a type of cheese that will bring out the flavours rather than making them shy away.

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Mediterranean_Mung_Bean_Soup

Mediterranean Mung Beans Soup

Never mind the Singaporean heat, we do crave for a good bowl of soup every now and then. And after discovering mung beans, it was hard to resist the succulent idea of making a vellutata of them. Traditionally, mung beans are actually believed to be refreshing for the body, and often used in dessert recipes as a way to cool down your stomach after a meal and prevent inflammations. Of course, I went exactly the opposite direction and made a Mediterranean style soup and hand-blended it to obtain a velvety, creamy result. I’d hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Continue reading “Mediterranean Mung Beans Soup”

Steamed Enoki Mushrooms with Garlic – a ‘Cooked Salad’ Recipe

In hotter weather, salads are a go-to food. This enoki mushroom recipe is a Chinese cooked salad, which means that like last week’s aubergine recipe, the mushroom is steamed before the sauce goes on, and the mushrooms soak up the flavours as it cools with the sauce.

You can also look into using other sorts of mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms, although it would be best to slice them thinly, as enoki mushrooms are naturally so thin and absorb the flavours easily. Continue reading “Steamed Enoki Mushrooms with Garlic – a ‘Cooked Salad’ Recipe”

Steamed_Aubergine_Eggplant_with_Tahini

Steamed Aubergine with Tahini Sauce – a Chinese Salad

Aubergines (or eggplants) are my favourite – not only healthy, but they are a veggie that can be cooked in so many different ways! Now that the weather is getting warmer, this simple Chinese salad recipe is very tasty – and can be prepared in advance. Not only so, steaming preserves the vitamin content really well.

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Peperonata, More Than a Side Dish

I love this dish because it requires few ingredients and provides a lot of flavour. It is a great side dish to present at a dinner party – but I love it solo or with a naughty slice of cheese on top – just like how I’m making it today, with my favourite smoked provola sarda (which I’ve imported from home). I often use bell peppers for this, mixing all colours in, but this time I’m making it using these long red and green peppers, very sweet flavoured and comforting to the palate. This recipe makes enough for two.

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First Time Making: Miso Aubergines

I often have lunch at a small Japanese restaurant on Brewer Street called Kulu Kulu. In one of their colourful bowls, they serve this delicious aubergine dish. I like it so much that even after the first bowl, every time another one comes around on the conveyer belt, it’s so tempting to go for seconds! This vegan friendly dish is rather simple, but getting the right combination of flavours is not as simple (I learned the hard way) as it seems. I will try and share the learnings gleaned from my first attempt, for which I took inspiration from this Japan Centre recipe. Continue reading “First Time Making: Miso Aubergines”