You’ve already seen polenta in one of my earlier posts alongside some fried fish, but now I present you the most famous Romanian combination: sarmale , polenta and hot chilli!
It is not a summer dish at all but when I saw this photo I said this should be my next post and probably my next meal:))))
As I have previously told you, we live in Bucharest and of course we eat a lot of imported fruit&vegetables, pretty much all year long let’s say except summer months and September when really Romanian gardens are full with great produce.
But no matter how good you will find a certain strawberry in Bucharest, think of one 100 times better and you will understand the taste of Romanian countryside products. It’s because of the pollution? it’s in the soil, in the air, in the people’s know how? Really I don’t know, but when I go to the countryside I like to enjoy the simple things like this breakfast: garden strawberries and May cherries.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the prices: 10 times cheaper than Bucharest!
The small sweet fish (carp, sardines,caras(is this a word in english?:))) eaten with creamy polenta and garlic sauce called “mujdei” is easy to make, “light” and delicious. As probably all traditional Romanian dishes, is also very cheap.
For example 8 sardines cost 8 RON /1.8 euros/$2.5, polenta is made from corn tassel (1kg costs 3 RON/0.75 euro/$1) and garlic (1 garlic flower costs 1RON/ 0.25euro/ $0.33).
If we make a small total, a meal for 2 which is ready in less than 30 minutes will only cost you 12 rON/ 2.80 euros/ $3.83.
Straight from the Apuseni mountains of Romania, last summer we have gathered 5kg of blueberries!!! It was an adventure going hiking, enjoying the extraordinary vistas and why not, eat some blackberries. There were everywhere! So we couldn’t just pass them …next step, gathering for 2 hours enough to make a great BIO jam.
Ingredients: blackberries from the mountains, slices of 1 lemon, and some sugar (around 3kg max).
This is the traditional meat that is cooked on Easter and I usually hated it! Until this year when it was really well done (the cook is in the picture, a big THANKS), so now it’s my favourite. I can’t wait to make it again and again and again…
So here’s the simplest recipe in the world: chop the meat in somewhat little pieces to get done really well, mix with salt, pepper, fresh mashed garlic, thyme and a glass of wine; put the mixture in a bag and keep in the fridge until the next day.
Take an oven tray, put the meat and a little oil and water just to cover the meat and then cook for about 2 hours in low heat. With around 15 minutes before it’s done, add another
glass of wine.
Then enjoy in Romanian style with mamaliga (polenta) and pickles (cucumbers and melons in the picture).
Appetizers..natural and traditional…work well together and look great. This is what you will probably see on every Easter table in Romania.
So..it’s fresh cheese, cucumbers, radishes, dyied eggs, meatballs, some lamb meat specialty we call “”drob”‘, olives, cherry tomatoes and roes home made.
As dessert we have a special baked cake, a sort of Italian panettone, only it’s Romanian.
Since I was a little kid and eggplants were to be found in my village only during summertime, me and my brother had grown an obsession for this homemade delicious dish. So at 34 degrees (Celsius) usually my mom and probably all the other moms everywhere in Romania used to cook the eggplants on the stove and prepare the eggplant salad with onions. Best served with fresh garden tomatoes on top. I remember we would eat it all in a day: morning, evening, between play times, before going to bed, just anytime!
Now when I can find the frozen or readily prepared I just eat but still wait for the summer to have local produce and to cook it myself. The ingredients are just eggplants, sunflower oil and onion.
Check out the recipe …http://www.len.ro/cooking/eggplant-salad/
somewhat explained, it actually misses the part on how to chop the cooked eggplants with this wooden instrument:
from here ( http://bucataria-mea.blogspot.com/2010/06/vinete-cu-maioneza-si-ceapa-calita.html)
You will see in this blog that most of what Romanians use as ingredients for cooking is coming straight from the garden/local farms, and the recipes are extremely simple.
P.S. A lot of people add mayo to this recipe, but I just find it healthier like this.
1st pic from here (http://www.cevabun.ro/salata-de-vinete-cu-maioneza/)