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Joyful June & Queen of the Vegetables

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

I don't know about your part of the world but summer has arrived with full force here in Paris. The blue skies, the sunshine, the summer breeze and the warm open-air evenings give me utter joy,


June is one of my favorite months. It is a joyful month. It is time for many activities, festivals, sports, picnics and concerts. A time to travel and to explore... Who doesn't dream to have a long weekend escape discovering a new village, an exciting city, a mountain hike or a calm seaside break?


We also enjoyed the 40th anniversary of the annual Music Festival "Fête de la Musique" all over France on June 21st, the offical beginning of summer. This year the sun set as late as 9:57 pm in Paris. Fête de la Musique has become one of the country's most important holidays, with millions taking to the streets to make music together on the first day of summer.


I must admit it is also a special month because of Mr. Pinto's birthday!


June is a great time to enjoy the summer vegetables and fruits. Eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, cherries, strawberries, abricots, peaches... What about 'al fresco' dining with family and friends? A cold beer for an aperitif, a refreshing fruit sorbet for dessert.... My recipe of the month is great to invite friends over and enjoy a summer meal together.


I loved to prepare this dish with my Grandma Elisa and it has become one of my signature dishes. It is called 'yelpaze patlıcan' meaning eggplant in a Japanese silk fan like shape. It is easy, quick, very pretty and flavorful. Those who know me certainly know that EGGPLANT is my passion, my favorite vegetable and it is the QUEEN of my kitchen. With more than 200 mouth-watering recipes, it is the most loved vegetable of the Sephardi and Turkish cuisines.


Give a try to the recipe and as the eggplant bakes in the oven, just enjoy a glass of chilled rosé wine in your balcony/garden with your loved ones.


Enjoy the dish and have a lovely summer!


Yelpaze Patlıcan (Roasted Aubergine with tomatoes, herbs and cheese)


Ingredients: (for one or two people)


-1 eggplant/aubergine (choose a firm, thick and large one)

-100-150g mozarella cheese, cut into slices

-2-3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

-2 cloves of garlic, minced

-1 tbsp dried mint

-1 tbsp dried oregano

-1 tsp Turkish pul biber or similiar red pepper flakes

-A few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-Basil leaves to decorate


Directions:


1)Prepare the sauce: Combine the garlic, mint, oregano, red pepper flakes and the olive oil. Mix well.


2)Slice the eggplant lengthwise, but do not go all the way up to the stem so that the slices stay together and they do not fall apart.


3)Put a baking paper on an oven tray and place the eggplant on top, seperate a little bit the slices.


4)Spread the sauce on the eggplant slices, front and back.


5)Place mozzarella cheese and tomatoes in between the eggplant slices.


6)Bake in a preheated 190°C oven for 30-45 minutes.


7)Garnish with basil leaves and serve.


Chef's Tips:

-You can use other meltable cheeses instead of mozzarella, tiny cocktail tomatoes instead of big tomatoes, other fresh herbs instead of basil, and the spices you have at home for the sauce. You all know by now that my recipes do not have strict rules, use your creativity and make it your own.

-If you'd like to watch the complete video of the recipe it is in my Instagram IGTV. Just click here.



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