Tomatoes confit sometimes come back! - Pomodorini confit a volte ritornano! - Mini rajčice confit se ponekad vraćaju!

Some days are hard, some are even more hard....all year 2015 is so hard and it runs, runs, it doesn’t stop running and we are already in August, means end of summer, means autumn, means end of another year! The good thing is that we are going to holidays, finally we will relax and forget the haste and all hard days we went through in last months – I’m going home again, another few days and I’ll enjoy the nature, the sea, the food and the feelings.
The recipe that fit well to my present mood is the one I’ve already shared here last year, the one that make me think about new recipes, the one that gives me energy and willpower to continue making something (this is how I am!). I also did some new pictures that I really liked so here we are again: sweet, sweet flavour of tomatoes confit will make you smile and you won’t stop thinking about a new recipe in which you can use them…


Basil pesto – Pesto al basilico – Pesto od bosiljka

I remember a sort of green condiment for pasta that my mother’s friend once brought to us from Italy as a very precious gift for us. She recommended how to use it and she was sure that we would like it as much as she did, but when we tasted it for the first time I was so disappointed, I didn’t liked it at all. My mother couldn’t convince me that it was tasty and she wanted to make me believe that she like it sooo much! I didn’t trust her, because she is not a good liar, so we kept the remaining pesto for a long time in the refrigerator before we threw it away definitively.
I grow to like basil pesto when I moved to Italy and I’ve spent my first Italian summer in Tuscany. We often had pasta with basil pesto for lunch, it is so quick and easy to prepare. Moreover during summer months you can find plenty of fresh basil on the market, you don’t have to grow your own basil plant in vase, if you don’t have garden or balcony. What is the secret to fall in love with basil pesto? Well, to do it homemade and fist enjoy the flavour and perfume the basil emits while you mash it, second you enjoy its beautiful taste!
After so many years, now I know the reason why we didn’t liked it the first time we ate it. It was not freshly prepared, but the one from the supermarket. Maybe it was the best one you can buy, but nothing can be compared with the basil pesto you prepare in your kitchen. Something was missing in the recipe we’ve got from our friend: potatoes and a squirt of quality olive oil. Our first pasta with basil pesto was not awful, it was edible, but the one we eat nowadays is divine.


Tagliatelle alla julienne with summer flavours – Tagliatelle alla julienne con sapori estivi – Tagliatelle alla julienne s okusima ljeta

This tremendous heat is making our life so difficult, but this hot summer is offering plenty of fresh and coloured vegetables and the aromatic herbs on my terrace are growing so strong and healthy this year. Nevertheless they need a lot care and water too, but it’s a gift to have the possibility to pick your own plants whenever you need some. I’m pretty sure I will find a space on my terrace next year to plant some vegetables too. The courgette is the one I’d like to try to cultivate, because we like to eat them prepared in so many different ways. Its flowers are so interesting, not flavourful, but so coloured, like a sun! If I had a garden with many courgettes, I’d put the flowers in the vase too. In my parent’s garden the courgettes grow very quickly, if you “forget” your courgette plant for one day you risk to find so big fruits and so many of them that you must give them away to neighbours and friends. I like to search for flowers hidden under big leaves and I like most the small courgettes with the flower on it, they are crunchy and the yellow petals give some coloured touch to each dish. And they get cooked in very short time and it’s not bad during hot summer days.


Rose-water poached peaches with quinoa – Pesche schiacciate sbollentate nell’acqua di rose con quinoa –Pljosnate breskve poširane u ružinoj vodici s kvinojom

I was so attracted by this recipe that I couldn’t wait even for the weekend, so I did it the day after I read it. And I did well, because it is absolutely the “summer desert” I was looking for.

If you like peaches and flavour of red roses this dish will surprise you with the sweetness and its exquisite taste. This is a top season for peaches and it was not difficult to find doughnut peaches – small, flatten and sweet fruits with a white pulp. The combination with the rose-water is the perfect one, there is no need to add other spices to it, it is already so naturally perfumed and flavourful. Replacing the rice from the original recipe was a good choice, because I don’t like sticky rice and quinoa has grainy texture that I prefer. What about the smell? It’s beyond words, you must try it!


Rose-water syrup – Sciroppo di acqua di rose – Sirup od ružine vodice

The temperature in these days is so hot and last week it was even worse. I’ve tried to avoid cooking complicated stuff and staying long time near to the burner. Nevertheless I haven’t lost the appetite! But during hot summer days my preferred food is something fresh and ready to go (out) from the fridge. Now the fridge is full of fruits, vegetables and water. Everything must be fresh and almost icy. I usually don’t prepare ice – now I have ice in deep freezer too!
Despite of the big heat I haven’t lost the will to prepare something new and interesting. And despite of big heat, my red rose is full of flowers again. I’ve decided to use some blossoms and to prepare the rose-water. Rose-water is so fascinating to me and it’s incredible how many recipes you can prepare with it. My red rose is so perfumed and so red that the rose-water has very good flavour. Its coloure is deep and almost dark violet. I like to prepare it and to smell the beautiful scent rose’s petals give off while immersed into boiling water. This year I’ve decided to make something very easy (last year I’ve prepared Lokum, do you remember?), so the syrup was the perfect choice.
I’ve read several recipes of rose-water syrup and I’d like to share the recipe that I’ve used (I’ve adjusted a bit and combined more recipes). So the idea of making rose-water syrup is not mine, but this one is prepared the way I like it. It is so exquisite and refreshing, I’m sure you will like it a lot, it’s worth to do it homemade.


Sour black cherries in syrup – Amarene sciroppate – Višnje u sirupu

I adore sour taste of fruits while not too ripe. For the same reason I prefer jam made of sour black cherries. Sour black cherries always have slightly sour taste (they have it in the name too!), they are not too sweet, but their flavour is absolutely perfect. I find the best ripe fruits at the end of June in the near village at my friend’s orchard. I want them to be fresh and not “stressed” because of long traveling to reach our city market. And then the “big” work can begin. It takes some time to pit all these tiny fruits, if you do it manually…and how do I do it? Manually, of course, but in this way my preserves are even more tasty!
Usually I bring my “preserves for winter” from Croatia, homemade by my mother, but in last years I started to prepare them by my own too, following the family recipes and traditions. It makes me so satisfied and proud, because these (my!) preserves are so good! And my parents are so curious to taste some of my “creations”. I like to experiment new combinations and flavours and they are so fascinated by this. So now, when I go back home, I usually bring with me some preserves too. Isn’t it extraordinary? In August, when I get back home, I’m sure I will find jars full of sour black cherries taking sun immersed in liquefied sugar and grappa waiting to become liquor.
This year I wanted to try something different then the ordinary jam (of course the jam was prepared too)!I also red Angela’s cookbook (“Racconti di Cucina” written by Angela Frenda) and I’ve found a similar recipe that inspired me and made me think about the sour black cherry liquor my mother prepare each summer. But I wanted to prepare something with no alcohol. So I have done some research in the web, I’ve found so many different recipes and at the end I have decided to combine all these new knowledge and prepared my sour black cherries in syrup!
.....and now I have enough cherry stones to make homemade cherry stone boule. I don't like to waste, so I try to use almost everything.....