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Green seduction: avocado & cucumber salad

Yes! I am most happy about this simple summery salad. Ready to eat just under 5 minutes, it’s an ultimate green-dream lunch for a rushed Londoner. Creamy avocado with a bits of crunchy cucumber work amazingly well under fresh lime&chilli dressing. Green magic!

Green seduction: avocado & cucumber salad

Preparation + cooking time: 5 minutes / A stunning light treat for 2 / Veg-friendly

We would need:

  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 small avocados, stoned and sliced
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • Sriracha sauce, to taste
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • a handful of arugula, to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking mayo, lime juice and sriracha sauce together. Taste and adjust levels of seasoning.
  3. Drizzle salad with dressing, garnish with arugula and serve immediately. Bon app!

With love,
Marie

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen


 

Žalioji vilionė: avokado ir agurkų salotos

LT

Ypatingai džiaugiuosi dėl šių paprastų vasariškų salotų atradimo. Greitai pagaminamos, šios žalios salotėlės yra puiki skanių pietų alternatyva skubantiems. Kreminis avokadas su traškiais agurko gabaliukais fantastiškai dera su gaiviu laimo&čili padažu. Tikra žalioji magija!

Paruošimo laikas: iki 5 minučių / Užkandėlė dviems / Veg

Mums reikės:

  • 1/2 agurko, supjaustyto
  • 2 nedidelių avokadų, supjaustytų gabaliukais
  • 2 svogūnų laiškų, smulkiai supjaustytų
  • 2 šaukštai majonezo
  • 1/2 laimo sulčių
  • Sriracha padažo, pagal skonį
  • Jūros druskos ir maltų juodųjų pipirų, pagal skonį
  • Sauja arugula salotų, papuošimui

GAMINAME:

  1. Dideliame salotoms skirtame dubenyje sumaišykite agurką, avokadą ir svogūnų laiškus.
  2. Suplakite kartu majonezą, laimo sultis bei Sriracha padažą. Paragaukite, ir jei reikia pagardinkite druska bei pipirais.
  3. Salotas apšlakstykite padažu, papuoškite arugula ir patiekite. Skanaus!

Su meile,
Marie

Įkvėpimas: Smitten Kitchen

My 20 min after work Korean dinner

Last few weeks were extremely busy for me, which resulted in having almost no time for cooking. In a way it was good as I had an opportunity to get creative and improvise on a speedy after work  dinner options.

Here is what I came up with:

Taking just 20 minutes from kitchen to plate, this Korean-style 4 dish-dinner makes a perfect healthy midweek meal. Delicious tuna pancakes are served with rice and lightly stir-fried courgette with a tangy lettuce & scallion salad on the side. Prepare to be amazed!

My 20 min after work Korean dinner   / Serves 2

Preparation + cooking time: 10 min

Tuna pancakes (Chamchijeon,참치전)

We would need:

  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 3 tbsp of onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 free-range egg
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1-2 tbsp of canola oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well together.
  2. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and pour 1-2 tablespoon of canola oil.
  3. Then scoop a spoonful of tuna mix, form a ball and flatten into an oval or a round shape and fry till nicely brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes. Serve warm or cold, both taste great!

Preparation + cooking time: 5 min / Veg-friendly

Seasoned Courgette (Hobak namul, 애호박 볶음) 

We would need:

  • 1/2 tbsp of canola oil, for frying
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • a pinch of salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a frying-pan with 1/2 tbsp of canola oil and stir-fry sliced courgette on a high heat for 1 minute.
  2. Add the sesame seed oil with garlic and stir-fry for another minute.
  3. Lastly, add chopped scallions, sprinkle sesame seeds and season with a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before serving.

 

Preparation + cooking time: 5 min 

Tangy lettuce & scallion salad ( Sangchu-geotjeori, 상추겉절이)

We would need:

  • 1 head of little gem lettuce salad
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp of onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of roasted sesame seeds oil
  • 1 tbsp of sesame seeds
  • Korean red chilli pepper flakes, gochugaru (고추가루), to the taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl toss together the lettuce and the scallion.
  2. Combine rest of ingredients in another bowl and mix well.
  3. Add salad to the seasoning mixture and incorporate it gently by hand.
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve straight away.

Bon app!

With love,
Marie

Inspired by  Maangchi & “Our Korean Kitchen” by Jordan Bourke & Rejina Pyo


Mano 20 min korėjietiška vakarienė / 2 asmenims

LTPastarosios keletas savaičių buvo nutrūkgalviškos ir labai užimtos, beveik nebuvo laiko užsukti į virtuvę. Tam tikra prasme tai yra gerai, nes atsirado proga pabūti kūrybingai ir paimprovizuoti greitų vakarienių tematika.

Taip  ir sukompanavau šią korėjietiško stiliaus 4-patiekalų vakarienę. Tik 20 minučių nuo virtuvės iki stalo, skanus ir sveikas vidursavaitės vakarienės variantas.

Gardūs tunų blyneliai yra patiekiami su virtais ryžiais, lengvai apkepta cukinija bei pikantiškomis salotėlėmis.

 

Tunų blyneliai ( Chamchijeon , 참치 전 )
Gaminimo laikas: 10 min

Mums reikės:

  • konservuotų tunų savo sultyse (1 skardinė), nusausinta
  • 3 šaukštų supjaustytų svogūnų
  • 1 smulkiai supjaustytos česnako skiltelės
  • 1 kiaušinio
  • žiupsnelio druskos ir maltų juodųjų pipirų
  • 1 šaukštelio sezamų aliejaus
  • 1 šaukšto miltų
  • 1-2 šaukšto rapsų aliejaus kepimui

GAMINAME:

  1. Į didelį dubenį sudėkite visus ingridientus ir gerai išmaišykite.
  2. Suformuokite apvalios formos blynelius ir kepkite gerai įkaitintoje keptuvėje su trupučiu rapso aliejaus.
  3. Kepkite kol gražiai apskrus iš abiejų pusių, apie 3-5 minutes.

 

Apkepta cukinija korėjietiškai ( Hobak namul , 애호박 볶음 )
Gaminimo laikas: 5 min

Mums reikės:

  • 1/2 šaukšto rapsų aliejaus, kepimui
  • 1 vidutinio dydžio cukinijos, supjaustytos plonais pusmėnuliais
  • 1 šaukštelio sezamo aliejaus
  • 1 česnako skiltelės, išspaustos
  • 1 svogūnų laiškų, supjaustytų
  • 1 šaukštelio sezamo sėklų
  • žiupsnelio druskos, pagal skonį

GAMINAME:

  1. Įkaitinkite keptuvę, įpilkite truputį  rapsų aliejaus ir pakepinkite cukiniją apie 1 minutę.
  2. Įpilkite  šaukštelį sezamo aliejaus, įdėkite česnaką ir pakepkite dar apie minutę.
  3. Pabarstykite svogūnų laiškais ir sezamo sėklomis bei pagardinkite žiupsneliu druskos.
  4. Nuimkite nuo ugnies ir leiskite šiek tiek ataušti prieš patiekiant.

 

Pikantiškos salotos (Sangchu-geotjeori, 상추 겉절이)
Gaminimo laikas: 5 min

Mums reikės:

  • 1 galvos gūžinių salotų, supjaustytų
  • 1 svogūnų laiškų, supjaustytų
  • 2 česnako skiltelių, išspaustų
  • 3 š. plonais  griežinėliais supjaustytų svogūnų
  • 2 š. sojų padažo
  • 1 a.š. žuvies padažo
  • 1 a.š. cukraus
  • 1 a.š. ryžių acto
  • 1 š. sezamo aliejaus
  • 1 š. sezamo sėklų
  • Korėjietiškų raudonųjų čili pipirų dribsnių, gochugaru (고추 가루), pagal skonį
    *Galima pakeisti rūkytais čili pipirų dribsniais

GAMINAME:

  1. Į didelį dubenį sudėkite salotas ir svogūnų laiškus.
  2. Likusius ingridientus sudėkite į kitą indą ir gerai išmaišykite.
  3. Apjunkite salotas su užpilu ir švelniai ranka išmaišykite.
  4. Pabarstykite sezamo sėklomis ir iš karto patiekite. Skanaus!

Su meile,
Marie

Įkvėpimas:  Maangchi & “Our Korean Kitchen” by Jordan Bourke & Rejina Pyo

Summer on a plate: Arugula & Peach salad

March 5th. Snow gently covered rooftops and avenues of Paris. As beautiful the city in white is, the heart is longing for warm, fresh and sun-filled days.

Following the feeling, I quickly tossed together this gorgeous salad that just epitomizes summer to me – peppery arugula with sweet juicy peaches along with creamy fresh mozzarella and crunchy almond flakes. It is beautifully refreshing lunch plate that brings summer days just closer.

Summer on a plate: Arugula & Peach salad

Preparation + cooking: 15 min / Serves 2

We would need:

  • A knob of butter
  • 2 nice & firm peaches, pitted and halved into wedges
  • 1 tbsp. of runny-honey
  • 2 handfuls of arugula salad
  • 1/2 mozzarella or burrata cheese ball, roughly torn
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of almond flakes, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt a knob of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the peaches cut side down and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle with honey and cook for another minute. Allow to cool.
  2. Arrange arugula and peach wedges into a serving dish. Tear mozzarella into bite-size bits and scatter around the plate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, followed by a teaspoon of aged balsamic vinegar, and lastly, garnish with almond flakes.Enjoy!

With love,
Marie

Magnificent Egg Clouds

I dumped meat years ago, though some of my treasured summer moments have involved shashlyki (skewered meat cooked on a grill next to the lake or forest in a company of friends or family).  Nonetheless it was relatively easy breakup for me – for one thing sure, I couldn’t go completely vegan as eggs & dairy, especially cheese, kept me tight.

I love eggs too.  For their simplicity and yet limitless possibilities with egg-based dishes. Like this dreamy delicious egg-treat with whole creamy yolks and a cloud of egg whites baked to perfection. If you keep a good relationship with meat – you can also mix in some cooked breakfast sausage or bacon, for the rest of us – sautéed onion & fresh herbs will make an excellent choice.

Magnificent Egg Clouds

Preparation + cooking time: 15 min / Serves 2

We would need:

  • 2 free-ranged eggs
  • a good pinch of  grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • some freshly chopped chives

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas mark 8/ 450°F/ 230 °C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate eggs, putting whites in one large bowl and yolks in a separate little cups.
  3. Whip the whites until stiff peaks form, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Gently stir in the cheese (bacon bits or sautéed onion), then divide the whites into 2 “cloud” shapes and place them on the baking sheet. Create a deep well in a the center or each cloud.
  5. Bake for 3 minutes, then add yolk to each well and bake for another 2 to 3 minutes or until yolks are just set.
  6. Season with salt & pepper , garnish with and serve hot! Bon app!

With love,
Marie

Homemade cream of mushroom soup

Funny things happen once you find yourself stuck at home with a sore throat and the battle for Middle Earth unrolling in the background. It got me thinking that Hobbits, too, have a great passion for good food, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People. Particularly, J.R.R. Tolkien’s small & homey people love mushrooms. Do you remember – when they have set off on their epic-journey-quest, firstly,  they shortcuted through a field of mushrooms? :)

Sam: Trust a Brandybuck and a Took.
Merry: What? That was just a detour, a shortcut.
Sam: Shortcut to what?
Pippin: Mushrooms!

As it happens, though, I am not a hobbit (my husband especially is happy about me not having hobbit feet), I share the everlasting love for mushrooms. We both do. Making a cosy warming bowl of this delicious soup was a great way to continue adventure with Frodo&Sam out of  the TV screen and keeping our bellies nicely full.

This full of earthy mushroom flavours soup is fairly quick and easy to make. A delightful dish, I am happy to revisit regularly. Try it with dinner today!

Homemade cream of mushroom soup

Preparation + cooking time: 35 min / Serves 2

We would need:

  • a knob of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, white part, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. of caraway seeds
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 big potato, diced
  • handful of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of double cream
  • a pinch of finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • bits of fried mushroom for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the butter in a large pan and gently fry onion and leek until softened. Stir in caraway seeds and cook for another minute.
  2. Pour in the stock, add bay leaf and bring it to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add potatoes and mushrooms and cover to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then.
  3. Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaf and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in double cream and stir gently. Add salt and pepper, along with the nutmeg, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
  5. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with chopped mushrooms and grated parmesan cheese. Goes well with crusty bread. Bon app!

TIP:  Large open cup or brown cap mushrooms will give the best flavour.
For deep and intense flavour use a variety of dried wild mushrooms.  How to prepare dried mushrooms for cooking you can read here.

With love,
Marie

A spoonful of Baltic with a twist: pickled herring bites

I think it is safe to say that most Estonians wouldn’t claim that their country is best-known for its food. In fact for the majority of us the local cuisine might stay the next big secret, but in case you are curious – traditional Estonian kitchen celebrates simple peasant food: meat, fish, potatoes, as well as rye bread and a variety of dairy products. Estonian eating habits are also closely linked to the food traditions of nearby countries and are deeply influenced by pure Estonian nature.

However, it is absolutely fair to say that Estonia is a country of good quality food. For instance, the local taste palate is stipulated by four seasons. A necessity back in the days, but in the age of food abundance, rather a mindful use of a local produce. A culinary trend more and more widely recognized in the world.

As Estonian cuisine, the national fish of Estonia – Baltic herring – is also often overlooked. Coming from the Baltic region myself, I felt responsible to share with you my experiences with this little sea fish and perhaps even to encourage you to try something new.

 

A spoonful of Baltic with a twist: pickled herring bites

Preparation + cooking time: 30 min / Serves 4 as a starter

We would need:

  • a knob of butter or some oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 big carrots, grated
  • handful of dry prunes
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of dry apricots
  • 3-4 tsp of tomato sauce
  • pepper
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 herring fillet

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
  2. Soak dried fruit in a warm water bowl for about 10 minutes. Then remove excess water and cut fruit into small pieces. Add to the skillet and continuously stirring cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in tomato sauce, sprinkle with pepper and cinnamon and cook for few more minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cut herring fillet in a bite-size pieces, roll up and secure with a tooth pick.
  5. Serve on a bed of sweet carrots and rye toast. Head isu!

With love,
Marie

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

I have a problem. I have a husband, too, but he is not the problem. The problem is, I am happiest in the kitchen when I’m going deep on some quest: studying cookery books, trying to do everything from home-made gelato to creamy mussels. The problem is that my husband prefers familiar food. Who could blame him for that?

As that alone wasn’t enough, I have to admit that I have been a pescetarian now for over 15 years and leaving side by side with avid meat-lover sometimes might be tricky. I have to give him a huge credit for supporting me and keeping me company throughout all of my experiments.

Since we moved to UK, I wanted to try one of the nation’s most popular dishes – a brilliant curry – tikka masala. To the joy of my husband, I quickly figured that soy chunks have a very good quality of absorbing gravy, so no time wasted, and my take on spicy & tangy classics have hit our dinner table :). 

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

Preparation + cooking time: ~ 2 h / Serves: 2/ Veg-friendly

For fantastic soy tikka masala we would need:

Tikka:

  • 200 g soy chunks

Marination ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp of low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp of red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • 2  tbsp of corn flour
  • Salt to taste

Masala gravy:

  • 50 g of cashew nuts
  • 50 ml of milk / coconut milk for vegans
  • 2+2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbp of cumin seeds
  • 1 cardamom seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 of small cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic and ginger
  • 5-medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp of tomato purée
  • ½ to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • handful of coriander stocks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of red chili powder
  • 1/2 of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • 50 ml of double cream / coconut milk for vegans
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 of bell pepper (green or yellow), chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Soak soy chunks in hot water for 20 minutes, till they are soft. After that squeeze them so that all liquids come out.
  2. Whisk marination ingredients till smooth in a large bowl, add the soy chunks and gently mix so that all chunks are evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate for at least 40 minutes in the refrigerator. If you can leave it overnight even better.
  3. Soak cashew nuts in milk for 40 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a large pan. Add marinated soy chunks and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes till crisp and browned. Keep the fried soy tikka aside.
  5. To the same pan add 2 tsp of oil and toss cumin seeds along with cardamom, cloves & cinnamon, allow it to sputter. Add in chopped onions with a pinch of salt. Once the onions turn golden brown, add ginger & garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Put in chopped tomatoes, cover with a lid and sauté on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add 4 tbsp of tomato purée, coriander stocks and cook for another 10 minutes. If the gravy tastes bitter to your taste, add a tsp of sugar.
  8. After that toss in chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and give it a good stir.
  9. Grind the cashew nuts into a purée and add to the gravy. Cashews give a creamier consistency with a nice sweetness.
  10. Put in soy chunks along with double cream and mix nicely. Adjust salt as per taste.
  11. Lastly, add roughly chopped onion and bell pepper for extra crunch and flavour.
  12. Serve hot with rice, home-made chapathi and yoghurt. Bon app!

Tip: The masala gravy could also work with fish or paneer.
If you feel like you need more water at any stage, please feel free to add.

With love,
Marie

Apple, ginger & celery juice

This zingy bright green drink is full of fresh ingredients to make you feel refreshed and energised. Perfect for start of the day.

Preparation time: under 5 minutes / a vitamin shot for 2

We would need:

  • 4 apples, cut in half, each half cut into wedges
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed
  • 2 cm – piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put apples, celery and ginger in the juicer and juice following the instructions of your machine.
  2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

With love,
Marie


 

Šviežiai spaustos obuolių, imbiero ir salierų sultys

LTMaloniai aitraus skonio šviežiai spaustos obuolių sultys padės Jums jaustis energingiems ir žvaliems visą dieną. Skani puikios dienos pradžia.

Paruošimo laikas: iki 5 minučių / Vitaminų šaltinis dviems

Mums reikės:

  • 4 obuolių, supjaustytų skiltelėmis
  • 2 salierų stiebų
  • 2 cm imbiero gumbo gabaliuko, nulupto ir supjaustyto

GAMINAME:

  1. Sudėkite obuolius, salierą bei imbiero gabaliukus į  elektrinę sulčiaspaudę ir išspauskite sultis.
  2. Supilkite į stiklines ir iš karto patiekite. Į sveikatą!

Su meile,
Marie

Šviežiai spaustos obuolių, imbiero ir salierų sultys

Uplifting creamy roasted bell pepper soup

This is a delicious and warming soup, superb on a cold day. A winning combination of roasted bell peppers and other soup-friendly veggies like onions, leek, carrots, celery and garlic, accompanied by cumin and a bit of garam masala takes it up a notch. It’s also exceptionally velvety and rich in flavour. Add some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

Preparation + cooking time: 60 -70 min / Serves 2 or 4 for starter/ Veg-friendly

We would need:

  • 3 large bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), halved and seeded
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 leek, cleaned and trimmed, white parts only
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of sweet paprika
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 of heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas mark 7/ 425°F/ 220 °C.
  2. Place peppers, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat each pepper. Roast until flesh is tender and skin blisters and turns black, for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once the peppers are blackened, remove them from the oven and transfer to a medium-sized bowl and cover (alternatively you can use a plastic bag). Allow the peppers to steam for at least 10 minutes. Uncover and let them rest until cool enough to handle.  After remove and discard the charred pepper skins.
  4. The soup: place onion, leek and carrot into a saucepan and cook until onion is softened and translucent, for a few minutes.
  5. Add celery, garlic and parsley and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Put in the cumin, garam masala, sweet paprika and bay leaf, stir to combine.
  7. Add roasted peppers and vegetable stock, turn to low heat, place a lid on the saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat, adjust for seasoning and stir in the cream. Blend until smooth.
  9. Serve in cups, garnished with a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper and a splash of cream. Bon app!

With love,
Marie

Georgian Aubergine with garlic and cilantro

Did you know that aubergine is actually a fruit? A berry to be exact. In fact, a berry related to both tomato and potato. It was a discovery for me, which straight away made me think of a delicious&unforgettable Georgian Nigvziani Badrijani (ბადრიჯანი, aubergine rolls with spiced walnut filling). [I would be making those too in the nearest future].

I visited this magical mountain country last march and brought back with me deepen love for extraordinary Georgian cuisine. There are plenty of original and exquisite dishes. Some of my favourites include most recognizable Khachapuri and Khinkali, Lobio and Sulguni cheese, and of course aromatic Georgian wine.

This is my variation of Georgian style aubergine starter. Slices of aubergine are served with fresh onion rings and garlicky dressing, garnished with pungent flavoured cilantro. A great appetizer to begin your culinary journey through Georgia!

Preparation + cooking time: 40 min / Serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a side or starter
TIP: In order to reduce bitterness of aubergine,  usually it is sliced and salted before cooking.

We would need:

  • 1 large aubergine & some sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 tbsp of freshly chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and cut the tops off the aubergine, slice into rounds. Using a regular dinner plate, create layers of aubergine,  slightly season with salt on both sides. Cover with another plate or baking sheet and rest a heavy object on top. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Using pestle and mortar mix the garlic and salt. Put vinegar to a boil and add to the mix.
  3. Run cold water over the aubergine slices, making sure to rinse off all of the salt. Put on paper towel to remove the excess liquid.
  4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium heat and golden aubergine slices on both sides. Work in a batches of 4-5 and add oil if they start to stick. Remove fried slices to a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool.
  5. Arrange aubergine on a serving plate, drizzle with garlic dressing and top with the fresh onion rings along with chopped cilantro. Bon app!

With love,
Marie