Saturday, August 21, 2010

Illumination


Most striking at first is the appearance of sudden illumination, a manifest sign of long unconscious work.
Henri Poncaire

A gentle day. The weather turned mild and a trip to the local farmers market provided a bounty of seasonal produce that ended up with an impromptu dinner with a friend. Before that though I spend the afternoon reading and reflecting on the patio, Bella curled up on double Adriondack chair next to me.

I adapted Jamie Olivers "Caponata" recipe since I had all of the ingredients on hand from said market visit. Some bread and fresh organic raspberries topped with marscapone and drizzled with a bit of blackberry honey completed the meal.

It was an illumination that sometimes the seemingly simplest days are the most complex and rich.
Caponata

Ingredients

• olive oil
• 2 nice large purple eggplants, cut into large chunks
• 1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• a small bunch of basil finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, soaked and drained
• a handful of green olives, stones removed
• 2–3 tablespoons best-quality balsamic vinegar
• 5 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped


Get yourself a large pan, pour in a couple of lugs of olive oil, and place on the heat. Add your eggplant chunks and oregano, season with a little salt and toss around so the aubergine is evenly coated by the oil. Cook on a high heat for around 4 or 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake every now and then. (Depending on the size of your pan you may need to cook the eggplant in batches.) When the eggplants are nice and golden on each side, add the onion, garlic and basil and continue cooking for another couple of minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if you feel it's getting too dry. Throw in the drained capers and the olives and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender. Taste before serving and season if you need to with salt, pepper and a little more vinegar.

And it's just that easy and delicious.

Anne-Sophie Mutter, "Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Summer":

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