Thursday, December 29, 2016

Capsicum pastry rolls and peperonata recipe

This is one of those creations that happened while using up leftover vegan pastry and a bit of peperonata I had in the pot. The resulting dish was so pretty and delicious that I decided to share it,

Capsicum pastry rolls

Yu must use some cooked capsicums (bell peppers) for this recipes, and I had some peperonata ready:

2 yellow capsicums
2 red capsicums
1 green capsicum
1 garlic clove
half carrot
1 small celery stalk
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more to drizzle at the end)
A little water
salt to taste (if the capers are not too salty)
chopped Italian parsley and fresh basil leaves, plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish

Wash and cut the capsicums into thin strips. Peel the garlic and cut into two. Wash and chop the carrot and celery into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables, then add the a little water and salt. Cover and simmer on the lowest setting for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring from time to time, and adding more water if necessary. Adjust with salt at the end, if necessary, and finish with some freshly chopped parsley, fresh basil and another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

I then used some of the capsicum strips for my pastry rolls: I cut the vegan pastry sheets in long strips and place a thin strip of capsicum on the border of each pastry strip (see photo) and then rolled it up.

To keep the rolls nice and round I place them in a mini-muffin pan, and used some mini-cupcake cases. I sprinkle the top with salt and dried herbs and baked everything at medium heat until the pastry was golden and puffy. Serve hot or cold.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, December 26, 2016

Macedonia di frutta

Strawberries, nectarines, pears, blueberries and kiwi fruit, a drop of lemon juice and some coconut water. No sugar. 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, December 19, 2016

Melanzane fritte (fried eggplants) and photos of peonies

I love fried eggplants, on pasta, on pizza, in a panino, as a side dish… or just by themselves, they are so versatile! Just cut them very thin (I use a bread knife) make them sweat with salt for an hour, rinse them and pat them dry. Fry them a few at the time with plenty of olive oil and a clove of garlic. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Serve or use as required.

And now a few photos of peonies - now in season!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sugar Christmas decorations

On Sunday we had the Dante Alighieri Society Xmas Market (Mercatino di Natale), and I made lots of sugar decorations for sale.

Ideal for 'baby's first Christmas' trees, sweet pastel colours, they can be used for Christmas cards too!

White and hand painted with a thin brush

Chocolate fondant, they smell great!

Green and silver for the trees

I used fondant (white, chocolate, red and green), corn flour, cookie cutters, food coloring (not cochineal!) and a thin brush to paint. We sold the lot!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sugarcraft: how to make a tin rose bud in under 30 seconds

I found this 'old' video (almost 3 years ago) of Arantxa making more sugar roses, this time tiny rose buds! They are so simple yet they look great!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Vegan sushi without nori

There are a lot of traditional vegan sushi rolls already, like kappamaki, kampyo, takuan, inari-san, and the famous avocado rolls, but sometime is fun to make more varieties, especially since Arantxa received   kit to shape sushi rice shapes from Japan, ready to be topped! And for topping we used some carrots  slices cooked with soy sauce and mirin and topped with seaweed (vegan) caviar, and some mushrooms slices sautéed with a little vegetable oil, soy sauce (or Tamari sauce for gluten free) and lemon juice. Well, it was truly delicious!

But for even more amazing vegan sushi recipes, and how to cooke the rice, click here and here
and here and here

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©