When summer comes, the city seems to awaken from hibernation. The elderly sit on benches in the squares, standing around and chatting for hours while passing the rough hands through their white hair. Mothers wearing long skirts that bare their still pale ankles are busy to run after their kids, so elated at the arrival of warm weather. All the parks, fountains, cafés are full of sincere smiles and happy looks, enjoying their finally found freedom. Summer creates a special atmosphere: it seems to last a minute but is always intense and overwhelming.
Ice cream and ice lolly are part of everybody’s diet in such a period, however I am a lover of soups and, despite hot temperatures, I don’t want to give them up. For this reason, I always look for an alternative version of winter hot soups.
For example, today I will prepare the Gazpacho: a Spanish cold soup based on vegetables, that is very common in Andalusia, where weather is very hot. This is a dish that can be served with ice cubes, as an aperitif or simply by pouring it in a glass instead of a dish or a cup.
This is a recipe full of beneficial properties, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, because it is made with uncooked vegetables.
In short, food is once again on our side. Enjoy every moment, without giving up anything! ♥
Ingredients for 4 people:
500 g ripe tomatoes;
1 red pepper;
1 red onion;
2 garlic cloves;
2 tablespoons vinegar;
3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil:
100 g bread crumbles;
Just enough salt and pepper.
Cut tomatoes in four parts;
Peel the cucumber, cut it to length to eliminate the seeds and then cut roughly into chunks;
Chop the red peppers, depriving all the seeds;
Peel and slice the onion and the garlic;
Blend all the ingredients together, adding vinegar and oil;
Add salt and pepper to season;
Put the mixture into a bowl and add the bread crumbles;
There is cold weather and rain again this week in London. The Nature seems to be emphatic when is absorbing all human emotions, such as fear, anxiety and disappointment. We are powerless creatures in front of human madness. But, what actually pushes violence to arise? I wonder about all this, swinging myself on a string of indignation and outrage.
I often pass through London Bridge on board of the bus 149 coming from Manse Road. London has turned into a raped wounded city, as all those that have been claiming innocent victims every day. There aren’t any right words which are able to describe these last painful days… The world is a victim of human cruelty, a subtle form of ignorance and unconsciousness. Despite that, we cannot allow the fear to overpower ourselves, but we need to stay united and “fight” against it!
Today, I chose a recipe from Morocco: a giant couscous (or Israeli couscous) with chickpeas and vegetables This recipe has the aim to spread peace even in food. Let’s stop the violence with intelligence!
Stop violence, Peace and Love ♥
Ingredients (for 3 people):
300 g of Giant couscous;
400 g of chickpeas (I prefer in a can);
2 big aubergines;
1 garlic clove chopped into small chunks;
Just enough fresh coriander;
Some mint leaves;
2 table spoons of cumin seeds;
Just enough balsamic vinegar;
Just enough extra virgin olive oil;
A pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven at 180°C;
Prepare couscous according to the instructions on the back of its packaging (basically, you cook it like pasta), then cool it in a bowl;
Cut aubergines into chucks (I didn’t remove their peel) then cut tomatoes and onions into 4 parts;
Place all the vegetables in a cooking pan with a little oil and garlic. Bake it for around 30 minutes;
Finely chop coriander and mint leaves;
When vegetables are cooked, combine them with couscous, add chickpeas and season them with balsamic vinegar, oil, a pinch of salt, cumin seeds, some coriander and mint;
Serve it cold or at room temperature.
Israeli giant couscous is not always easily available, then you can substitute it withSardinian fregula, a kind of dried pasta that looks very similar to couscous. It is made of durum wheat flour worked by hand and comes in the form of irregular marbles. I guarantee the final result will be as much as delicious.