Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©
Yes, I have 'Twilight fever', or 'Twilight addiction'? Whatever the term, it gets to me at any given time of the day, and I have to open the closest of the Twilight saga's books I can find, and read a bit of it! Pathetic? Yep... but so romantic....
Yesterday I got it early in the afternoon, and it didn't go away. I had to act, so just for fun, but also out of necessity (of providing a meal for the family instead of reading...) I though of making a Twilight inspired menu...obviously vegetarian (but don't the Cullens call themselves the vegetarians of the vampire world?), well, this menu is actually Vegan.
The colours had to be black and red, of course; my daughter insisted that we only buy the books with the red pages, and this was the first of my challenges: I really try not to use artificial colourings in my food, and so I looked for black and red ingredients. And of course the food should also be 'romantic and sensual', Italian and Mexican flavours (which are also mentioned in the books), just a little 'bite' in one of them perhaps?
The second challenge was that...I couldn't go shopping for anything new, I had to do with what was in the house, and at present it is very little because we are leaving in 10 days and I am slowly emptying the pantry!
But I have tomatoes in the garden...
Plum Tomatoes with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Well, the first was easy! Red tomato and Modena's black gold: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar(ABTM), possibly one of the most sensual ingredients ever!
Fresh plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste (I used Maldon)
A few drops of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Assemble as shown in the photo.
New Moon 'Rice'
Tomato and Red Chili Sushi Rolls
I had nori, and it looks black and shiny. And Sushi rolls are round like the moon, but I needed a red moon! Actually, the red rice in the photo is not very clear, these looked much redder to the naked eye. Never mind, they tasted great, I even surprised myself, as I never though of combining tomato and chili with nori seaweed!
Short grain rice
I didn't measure the rice, I used what I had left. I washed it and cooked it by absorption. In the meantime I fried some fresh chopped tomatoes with garlic and 1 red chili using a little olive oil. Then I passed everything through a sieve to remove the skins and seeds. I added salt and I stirred the spicy sauce into the rice. I then rolled the rice just like for sushi rolls.
Red Pizza with Black Seeds
Pizza is a must when teenagers are involved (and it was the first food our heroes, Bella and Edward, shared). I scoured the pantry for black seeds, I finished the poppy seeds, but I had some black sesame seeds. I added the cumin seeds mostly for flavour. I also used up the remaining of a jar of roasted red capsicum antipasto. I finished all my fresh tomatoes with the first two dishes, so I used canned tomatoes instead.
Pizza dough, recipe here
Tomato Sauce, recipe here (but omit the basil)
Black sesame seeds
Roasted red capsicums
Follow the given links to make the pizza dough and the tomato sauce. I have to say that by this stage the most difficult thing for me was not to add anything green to my food! Roll the dough to fill an oven tray lined with baking paper. Better to make a pizza slab that can be cut into small pieces (good if you have a Twilight inspired party). Top with the tomato sauce, then add salt and olive oil, the seeds and the capsicums. Bake at highest setting in your oven until the borders are golden and it smells delicious!
Breaking Dawn Dessert
I unashamedly admit that I am very happy with the dessert. In the pantry I found some surigoma, crushed black sesame seeds, and I remember that in Japan I enjoyed many sesame seeds desserts. And in the garden I had some beautiful red roses, not sprayed and therefore edible!
Breaking Dawn is all about love.....
50 g crushed black sesame seeds (available in Asian shops)
100 ml water
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 (one third) tsp agar agar (available in Asian shops)
For the Syrup
100 ml water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rose water essence
Finish with red rose petals
Place the first 4 ingredients in a small pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring well, and then pour into a small container. Set at room temperature, and then refrigerate. To make the syrup boil the water with the sugar until it halves in size, add the rose water and set aside. Before serving tilt the pudding from the container (this dose makes about 4 servings) and cut. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter here. Place on a plate decorated with rose petals. Drizzle with the syrup. Eat everything , the rose petals are delicious!!!!!