What I like about French and Italian cuisine, it’s the fact that they follow the seasons. I think this is right. You eat what’s available during the particular time of the year, and simply live according to the nature. I remember in Dublin, all my Italian friends were saying “how can you eat oranges in June? It’s not the right time!” Or they were looking at some dishes in a restaurant saying “No, you cannot have that, it’s the season for this”, and so on… Even back home, since I can recall, my mom was always cooking what was currently growing in the garden, or she was preparing salads and jam for the winter time- and yes, I will share some if these recipes with you 🙂 A few weeks ago I noticed a book in the bookshop. I looked at it and put it away. I liked the pictures, true, but then I thought do I really need another cook book? Finally I bought it and I have to say that the recipes are a yummy combination of French and Italian flavors, taking what’s currently on the food market- the book is divided into the seasons of the year, mostly vegetarian and high quality ingredients. Since the book is in French, and from what I could see there was no English edition, I will share these recipes from time to time here on my blog. Some of them, like the one today, are very easy to prepare- this one is not entirely vegetarian though, since you need some bacon, and thank God it’s always the season for that! Some of them have very unusual method- chocolate-courgette cake… really? But I think it’s worth trying them, and I find them refreshing and special. I hope you will enjoy it 🙂
Makes 4 servings, preparation time 15 min, marinading time- 1 hour, time in the oven- 15 min- the recipe says 10, but frankly I think 15 was better- it’s the eggplant that needs more time, the oven temperature- 200 C
- 2 big tomatoes or 4 small ones
- 1 eggplant- medium size
- 1 clove of garlic
- mozzarella- you will need two of these
- 8 pieces of bacon/lard
- basil and thyme- just a few leaves and one, two springs- chop them finely
- olive oil extra virgin- 8 tablespoons
- salt and black pepper
Marinade- in a small glass bowl combine together olive oil, chopped herbs and the garlic- you can either slice it finely or crushed it, add some salt and pepper as well.
Prepare the vegetables- slice tomatoes and the eggplant into slices of 1 cm each. This is what the original recipe says, however I can tell you that the eggplant should be thinner, as it’s less delicate than tomatoes.
On a big plate place the tomatoes and eggplant and spread the marinade all over the veggies. Leave aside for 1 hour. After 30 min flip each piece and spread the marinade on the other side of each slice evenly- or at least try- there is not that much of the olive oil, so I know it can be difficult.
In the meantime cut the bacon in halves- and fry them for two minutes on each side. Also slice the mozzarella into pieces- each around 1 cm thick. Now you can start putting together the millefeuille. In the baking form- I used a ceramic one, place like on the pictures below starting from the eggplant, bacon, tomato, mozzarella, then bacon, tomato and so on. Important is that you have mozzarella on the top as well, as while it melts in the oven it will keep the millefeuille together.
Once our ‘millefeuille de tomates’ is ready, place it in the oven for 15 min. Serve it hot, it’s delicious as a starter, but I think it can be served also as a lunch dish on it’s own. Bon Appetit 🙂
Reference to the book: Sophie Dupuis-Gaulier, Tout Manger deA a Z, hachette cuisine, 2014.