Weekend is finally here. After doing my weekly grocery shopping, it is now time to relax a little after a super busy week of work, work and work. I haven´t been focused like that for a while, and at the end of most days I was left with nothing but feeling of exhaustion. Even sleep has not been so proper. But physical exhaustion was nothing compared with the dryness I felt at times when ideas seemed to disappear or refuse to work. I have been struggling hard but for the first time this year, I felt like I was doing something worthwhile. But sometimes it is better to put everything aside to nourish yourself. Put on a not-so-commercial CD, read some poems from an old favorite poet and enjoy a light summer meal, I do feel better. Why not enjoy another lazy day before a busy Sunday and a mad week ahead?
Bobby Flynn´s EP Art Work. Love the CD and this artistic cover.
I guess some of you are interested in the salted grapes. I must admit I am not a very big fan of grapes, but salted grapes are beautiful condiment to any salad and fish dishes. These are basically slow-baked grapes with sea salt and olive oil. I have experimented to bake them with and without skins, and the ones without skin absorb the saltiness and have a lovely balance of salty-sweet flavours. So it is better to remove the skin of grapes if you want to make salted grapes. It doesn´t take too long I can assure you.
To make salted grapes, it is important that you get grapes that are not too sweet. They should not be too acidic either. A balance of these two factors is quite essential, so get tasting!
How to make salted grapes? (Inspired from this book). Firstly, preheat your oven to the lowest setting. Blanch 500g of grapes in hot water for a few seconds then skin them. Arrange grapes in an oven tray. Drizzle liberally with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Bake for about 3-4 hours or until the grapes wrinkle lightly. The grapes should still be lumpy and juicy. Store in sterilized jar with a film of oil on top. These grapes will keep well in the fridge for 1 week. Use them in salad and to accompany fish.
Now, the pancakes. The idea is inspired from another book (we can never have enough cookbooks, do we?), but I have changed the recipe considerably to make it lighter and vegetarian.
Firstly, you need to make some slow-roasted tomatoes. To do this, simply put sliced blanched tomatoes to the oven with the salted grapes above (use separate tray). Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 3-4 hours. I used about three vine-ripened tomatoes and ate all of them with joy!
For the corn pancakes (this amounts serve 3-4): 2 fresh corns, 125g plain flour, 2 eggs, 1 level tbsp baking powder, 200 ml milk, chopped parsley. Oil to fry.
Separate the corn kernels from the cobs. Mix everything together except the parsley until smooth. Add parsley and season to taste. Heat little oil in a non-stick pan, drop spoonfuls of batter and fry two sides until golden brown. Keep warm.
To assemble the dish, serve the pancakes with roasted tomatoes, some salted grapes and a few spinach leaves. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar if desired.