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sicilian orange granita

Granita is a refreshing Sicilian dessert. Its texture reminds the one of a sorbet, but it's less smooth and less compact. The texture will vary depending on the part of the island. Granita will be coarse and crystalline in the province of Palermo and almost as smooth as a sorbet in the east coast. Traditional flavours include lemon, orange, coffee, almond, mint and jasmine. Granita is often served with a cup of espresso or with a brioche, which makes a common Sicilian breakfast set. Similarly to a sorbet, granita can be served as an intermezzo between courses of a meal, to cleanse the palate.

Recipe: Sicilian orange granita

Serves: 8
  • 4 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • peel of one orange
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

  • In a skillet, bring orange juice to boil. Remove from heat and add orange peel.
    Transfer the mixture to a form, let cool and place in a freezer.
    Scrape around sides and break crystals with a fork every 30 minutes, until you achieve desired texture (about 3 hours total).

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    Young Beet Greens Pizza

    The recipe might seem boring, as it only includes a couple of ingredients. Two ingredients in fact - young beet greens and feta cheese. The pizza dough is topped with beet and feta paste, baked with beet greens and sprinkled with fresh feta. One-track-minded, but delicious.

    Recipe: Young beet greens pizza

    Serves: 3

    Pizza dough

  • 350 g of flour
  • 2 tsp. of dried yeast
  • a cup of warm water
  • 2 tsp. of olive oil
  • one tsp. of salt

  • Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt and yeast. Gradually add warm water and combine the ingredients with a spoon. Add olive oil and start mixing by hand. Work the dough vigorously on a pastry board for about 8-10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cloth. Set aside in a warm place for about an hour.

    Beet and feta paste

  • a bunch of young beet greens, including young beetroots
  • 200 g of feta cheese

  • Chop beet greens and beetroots.
    Cook in salted water until they have softened.
    Blend cooled beets with feta.

    Additionally:

  • young beet greens
  • feta
  • freshly ground black pepper

  • Work the dough again for a couple of minutes. Roll out the dough, form two small pizzas and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    Cover with cloth and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes.
    Top pizzas with beet and feta paste and fresh beet greens. Bake at 220C for 10-12 minutes.
    Before serving, top with crumbled feta and freshly ground black pepper.

    13

    roasted asparagus with Hollandaise sauce

    For me, the asparagus season is one of the most most beautiful, but also the most stressful times of the year. Between mid-April and the end of June, when asparagus is in season in Poland, a day without at least one asparagus meal is a day wasted.
    I'm not sure if I would admire asparagus as ardently if it was easily available all year round.
    I appreciate its subtle taste and delightful firmness, but it is the fact that it is here today and gone tomorrow that makes me madly in love.

    Recipe: Roasted asparagus with Hollandaise sauce

    Serves: 2

    Roasted asparagus

  • a bunch of green asparagus
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a few thin lemon slices
  • one tsp. of olive oil

  • Break off the tough ends of asparagus.
    Place them in an oiled baking dish, drizzle with lemon juice, top with lemon slices.
    Roast at 180 C for about 15 minutes.

    Hollandaise sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g of butter
  • juice of one lemon
  • a pinch of salt and white pepper

  • Beat the yolks with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
    Melt butter in a skillet and gradually add to beaten yolks, mixing continuously.

    Transfer roasted asparagus to plates and top with sauce..

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    roasted purple carrots

    Sounds unnatural?
    A few centuries back, almost all the carrots were purple.
    We owe orange carrots to Dutch growers, who developed them by crossing different varieties in the late 16th century.

    Recipe: Roasted purple carrots

    Serves: 2
  • 300 g of purple carrots, peeled
  • a few branches of fresh thyme
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. of coarse sea salt

  • Mix olive oil with thyme leaves and salt. Coat carrots with the mixture.
    Roast at 180C for about 20 minutes, until the carrots are soft.

    14

    Yellow tomatoes shakshuka

    Who said that shakshuka can't be yellow?

    Recipe: Yellow tomatoes shakshuka

    Serves: 2 hungry people
  • 350 g of yellow and orange tomatoes, cut in halves
  • yellow bell pepper, cut in stripes
  • 3 eggs
  • one small onion
  • one garlic clove
  • one tbsp. of butter
  • 3 tbsp. of freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsbp. of soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. of chili flakes
  • a pinch of salt

  • Melt butter in a skillet, add minced garlic and finely chopped onion.
    Add cumin and chili flakes and saute for a couple of minutes.
    Add pepper. After one minute, add tomatoes. Season with salt and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.
    Crack the eggs into the sauce. Cover the skillet and allow to simmer until the whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny.
    Before serving, top with goat cheese and fresh cilantro.

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