This month there was no room for experimentation, so my first attempt is what I’m submitting. I wanted to try a savory dish and as it was brunch time, I made something to go with the frittata that was also on the menu.
Apple subjee with pancetta
A subjee is the hindi term for a vegetable dish. The apples are cooked as if they were any other vegetable. For the dish you will need:
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 4 apples (350g when chopped)
- 1 large onion (250 g)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon dry lavender flowers
- 120 g of pancetta (4 oz)
- some fresh basil
Make sure your lavender is culinary or cooking lavender. Flowers from florist tend to be treated with chemicals that you would not want to ingest. I found my lavender at the bulk section of the supermarket, but it can also be purchased through mail order.
1 Peel the tomatoes. Do this by making an X with two one inch long shallow cut on the top (where the stem was attached) of each tomato. Boil water in a pot and once it boils, remove the pot from the stove and dip each tomato for 15 seconds. The peel can then be removed by pinching the top with your fingers.
2 Chop the onions and the apples into cubes of approximate the same size.
3 Heat a frying pan and put in the butter and a bit of water (so the butter won’t burn). Once it starts to bubble, put in the onions, and fry for two minutes. While it fries, slice the pancetta into strips.
4 Add the pancetta and fry for one more minute. Then add the apples.
5 In a pestle, grind the spices and the lavender. Add over the apples and cook until the apples are soft and the cubes start to loose their edges.
6 Just before serving, sprinkle with some basil.
The subjee was served as a side dish to a frittata. The dish worked as a brunch accompaniment. The lavender added a pleasant surprise, an unexpected flavor. The sweetness of the apples worked a little bit against the dish, as it was not sufficiently savory. Do you think more pancetta or tomatoes would help?.