I could tell you that shakshuka is an Israeli dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce. But that wouldn’t even begin to describe the flavours in this deceptively simple dish. It is in every way, shape and form far more than simply the sum of its parts. It is rich, slightly sweet, slightly spicy, smoky tomato sauce.
I have a confession to make: I’m completely incapable of not having tea after I’ve eaten a meal. Earl grey, chai, jasmine green… it doesn’t matter. A meal is not over until I’ve had my cup of tea. I’ve heard from others with a similar affliction that this is an Eastern European thing… regardless, it’s a ritual at my house. More often than not, I’ll have something small and slightly sweet with my tea.
I’ve tried making mayonnaise before with a whisk – it didn’t emulsify and tasted horrible and that’s when I gave up on the idea. Until the other day, when I was making baba ghanoush – the one thing I (used to!) use store bought mayonnaise for.
This baba ghanoush is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of roasted eggplant with tahini and garlic. This particular recipe uses oven-roasted eggplant and the addition of smoked sea-salt which, although not mandatory, brings a whole new depth of flavour to the dish. How does one even eat this stuff,you may be wondering?
Having been born in the former USSR, I have been exposed to Eastern European food my whole life. It doesn’t seem strange to me that a culture can base their entire culinary repertoire on potatoes and beets. And cabbage. More specifically, boiled potatoes and beets. And yes, even cabbage.
There’s something to be said for a bowl of warm, creamy soup when the weather is dreary and your feet are cold. This soup is the edible equivalent of pulling on thick socks, wrapping yourself up in a blanket and sitting by a crackling fireplace. The texture of this soup is unbelievably smooth and rich, and it all has to do with the way the squash is cooked.