Barley and Zucchini Burgers

Barley and Zucchini Burgers Does anyone ever feel tired when seasons change? Continue reading

I do. One thing I have found helps though is to eat healthy and limit the size of portions. If I eat a rich lunch I can’t seem to be able to keep my eyes open in the afternoon. In this state of mind I have made these burgers which my mother had already made a few months ago and recommended the recipe to me. I adapted the recipe, according to my taste, from one of the Betty Bossi cookbooks. If you wonder what or who Betty Bossy is here is a link to the description I found on Wikipedia, which I thought was short but accurate. I grew up with my mother (who comes from the French part of Switzerland) checking those books out. Personally as much as I like their recipes I try to avoid their ready made products (which only exist since a few years) because I have a little trouble with either the components or the taste.

 Barley and Zucchini Burgers

 

Barley and Zucchini Burgers

 

Recipe for 2 as a meal or for 4 as an appetizer

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients

For the burgers:

120 g pearled barley

1 sachet saffron

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 zucchini

1 garlic clove

4 fillets sun dried tomatoes

1 tsp. olive oil + more for the burgers

2 tbsp. flour

1 egg

2 tbsp. grated Sbrinz or Parmesan

Salt and pepper

 

For the sauce:

80 g yoghurt

2 tbsp. cream cheese

2 tbsp. chopped chives

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the barley in boiling water corresponding to four times its amount. To the water add some salt, the saffron and the cayenne pepper. Cook for 25-30 min (or until tender) and drain if necessary.

Meanwhile roughly grate the zucchini and pass the garlic through a garlic crusher. Thinly slice the sun-dried tomatoes. Add 1 tsp. olive oil and sauté the zucchini and garlic for 5-6 min; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.

Let everything cool down a little then in a bowl mix the barley with the zucchini and tomatoes, the flour, the egg and the grated cheese.

Make 8 equal sized burgers and cook them on a medium fire with a little olive oil for about 5 min per side. Serve.

For the sauce just mix all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. If making this recipe as a main meal, serve with a salad or veggies or in a bun.

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake Pasta bake is something I can’t resist. Continue reading

I have been making them for over ten years and whether it’s for a simple meal or for a dinner between friends it always has its success. I made this pasta bake thinking about my mother who, up to a couple of months ago, never dared to give it a try. Since I’m writing this blog, as I already wrote it, she has been facing some of her fears in the kitchen such as risotto, croquettes and now the pasta bake. I told her just to give it a try and that it was easy; the following day she phoned me and told me how much her and her boyfriend enjoyed it (when he takes a second refill it means he likes it). For this recipe I didn’t even look up a recipe, I just went with what I had at home and thought it would be nice to have the dish already portioned. Actually I also gladly noticed that it makes the washing up quicker… which is always on the plus side.                             I wish you all a great weekend, I’ll be off to beautiful Crans Montana with my boyfriend for the weekend. For two days I’ll be setting the healthy life style on the side since we’ll surely party and will be eating rosti, Argentinian meat, dried meat and if it’s chilly why not a cheese fondue!

 

Stuffed Aubergine Pasta Bake

 

Recipe for 2 as a main meal or for 4 as a first course

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients:

160 g short pasta such as elbow macaroni, orecchiette, pennette…

2 Aubergines

Olive oil

4-5 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves

1 egg

120 g cherry tomatoes quartered (roughly 8 pieces)

60 g grated cheese

¼ – ½ tsp. dried chillies

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions and once done, add a little olive oil and leave it to cool.

Meanwhile cut the aubergines in half lengthways and incise them deeply (without piercing the skin) making diagonal lines about 2-3 cm between cuts. Brush the cut side with olive oil.

Quarter the garlic cloves and push two pieces in the cut flesh for each aubergine half, do the same with the thyme sprigs. Season the aubergines with salt and cook in the oven for 30 min or until the flesh has softened. Once the aubergines are out of the oven, remove the thyme sprigs and set the garlic aside. With the help of a spoon scoop out the flesh, just be careful not to break the skin, as you will soon need it.

Chop the aubergine flesh and the garlic and let them to cool for 5 min before adding them to the pasta along with the egg, the cherry tomatoes, ¾ of the grated cheese, dried chillies, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all together and evenly spoon the preparation in the aubergine skins. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Replace them in the oven and cook for 15-18 min.

Roasted Beans with an Italian Accent

Italian Roasted Beans (800 x 598)Yesterday it was Switzerland’s national day and obviously, I was happy to celebrate it. In the evening, with my boyfriend, we went to the village party where the risotto was offered to the population and the ambiance was really warm and friendly. Continue reading

During those events, every few steps you take you meet someone you know and chat and drink eat and share a few stories. The food is always pretty much similar and it’s either risotto with luganighe (a kind of sausage from the region), polenta with cheese or more sausage and sometimes it’s a spaghetti feast. This was in the evening but at lunch I had my mother coming over and I wanted to eat something light but colourful so I made this bean dish.

 

1° agosto 2013 (600 x 600)

A snapshot of the 1st of August in my village.


About Lima/butter beans:

Although Lima beans have been cultivated in Peru for more than 7,000 years, historians are unsure whether they originated there or in Guatemala. Soon after Columbus’ discovery of America, Spanish explorers noticed different varieties of Lima beans growing throughout the South America, Central America and the Caribbean. They introduced them to Europe and Asia (source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=59 ). In fact, as it is the Spanish who have introduced these beans in Europe; I guess that this is the reason why in Italy they are called “bianchi di Spagna” which literally means “Spanish whites”.


Fried Beans with an Italian Accent

Recipe for 1-2 

Time : 15 min


Ingredients :

200g cherry tomatoes (I used a bunch of different varieties)

Olive oil

250g Lima beans (for time purposes I used tinned ones)

1 finely chopped garlic clove

Salt and pepper

juice of ½ lemon

6 chopped basil leaves

1 spring onion

40g pecorino cheese


Recipe :

Half the cherry tomatoes, chop the spring onion and grate the pecorino cheese.

Rinse the beans under tap water and pat them dry with some kitchen paper. Heat one tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the beans, salt and pepper to taste and brown on all sides, this should take about 5-7 minutes.

Once the beans are nicely browned, add the garlic clove and the halved tomatoes and let them slightly brown too. Now add the lemon juice and the chopped basil and stir.

Before serving add the spring onion with the grated pecorino on top.