I LOVE vegetables. I am not vegetarian, officially. But in practice, I actually lead a vegetarian life. My catering menus and eating events are also almost always vegetarian. Among all, there is one vegetable that I cannot live without: eggplant! (And I cannot go back and check now, but I probably said this over and over again in my previous eggplant recipes…)
I sometimes feel like Bugs Bunny – I cannot get enough of carrots. Then, for a while I completely forget about carrots, after that I remember again.. I generally like to make a simple salad with raw carrots and tomatoes: I just grate carrots, chop tomatoes and bring them together with a bit of salt, olive oil and lemon juice. This recipe though, is a whole new thing for me.
Red cabbage. A vegetable which is rather foreign to me. Sure I ate it many times in salads, but when it comes to using it as an ingredient myself, well, we generally look at each other in the market for a few minutes and then I move forward to another vegetable, continuing our mutual indifference. This weird relationship ended with this soup.
There are 3 dishes in my life that the word “shakshouka” has been associated with since my childhood. And they all point to different parts of my life.
I have to admit: I don’t always like recipes with tons and tons of ingredients. It is good to keep things simple most of the time. However, there are moments when you want a perfect flavour festival going on inside your mouth and stomach, and this soup is just the one for that purpose.
In Turkish cuisine, there is a series of dishes cooked specifically with olive oil, called “zeytinyağlı yemekler” (in English: dishes with olive oil). These dishes are vegetarian and are mostly eaten cold, some of them can also fall into the category of “mezzes”. I say that they are “mostly” eaten cold because even a little asking around friends brought various answers, some people prefer to eat them warm or even hot. I personally prefer eating them cold. What I mean by this is not almost frozen. It means that I let those dishes cool down to at least room temperature before eating – but I actually love them even more when they stay in refrigerator for a while.
I feel very happy that some fruits and vegetables do not grow in Finland. This way, we can enjoy them all year round, importing from other parts of the world! Take figs for example. At the moment, we have Brazilian figs in the stores. In late summer, early autumn there are Turkish figs and sometimes Israeli figs. Yes, we cover the whole world of figs!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you certainly know by now what a terrible child I was when it came to food. If I were my mother, I would beat me all the time – or at least during / after each meal! I was one of the pickiest little girls (nowadays I am rather picky about other things, erm, like men!!). However, there were certain dishes that I was totally obsessed with. This soup is one of them.
I love searching for old, ancient recipes from around the world. It doesn’t only give me an idea of what people used to eat or how they cooked, but it gives an idea about their life in general and puts food in a historical context.
Since last week, my (personal) Facebook page is filled with my adoration for moussaka. Yes, finally, after all those years and many broken hearts, I am in love….with moussaka!!