Pink Eggplant

Most eggplants you see are so dark purple it’s almost black. In Italy a delicate variety is cultivated with a lighter color that is almost pink and often partially white: melanzana rosa. Not only the color is more delicate, also the texture and taste are more delicate. I tasted pink eggplant for the first time at Piazza Duomo, a great restaurant in Alba, Italy. It was so tender I couldn’t believe it. If you come across one of these beauties, it’s definitely worth picking one up. If a product is as nice as this, it only needs minimal treatment. Eggplant always … Continue reading Pink Eggplant

Japanese Simmered Eggplant

I made this simmered eggplant dish as a side for the wagyu teriyaki. I adapted the recipe for Spicy Eggplant from “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” and the result was delicious. If you serve it in a nice bowl (as you should with any Japanese food), the result will be impressive even though it’s quite easy to make (if you had already made the dashi anyway, that is).  I used a western eggplant rather than small Japanese eggplants (which are not available around here), and I replaced the dried red peppers with shichimi togarashi because that is what I had on … Continue reading Japanese Simmered Eggplant

Pasta with Lamb, Vegetables, Honey & Thyme

I used to make this Italian-French fusion dish that I had invented myself on a regular basis, but hadn’t for a while as I was concentrating on more traditional dishes. I wanted to make something with lamb, remembered this dish and realised that I hadn’t blogged about it yet. So I made it again and decided to make it again more often since it is very flavorful. You can make this with any tender lamb such as lamb loin, lamb tenderloin or leg of a young lamb. Ingredients For 2-3 servings 300 grams (2/3 pound) boneless tender lamb 150 grams … Continue reading Pasta with Lamb, Vegetables, Honey & Thyme


Dengaku is Japanese grilled food coated with a miso topping. Basic dengaku is grilled tofu with dengaku, but since I don’t care for tofu (and Kees even hates it) I decided to make eggplant and scallop dengaku. The flavor of the miso topping is quite strong, so don’t use too much of the topping and realise that a small serving goes a long way. It is probably a good idea to serve this with rice, and next time I will serve either eggplant or scallops with dengaku miso, not both at the same time. The recipe is again from “Japanese cooking, … Continue reading Dengaku


Tempura is one of my favorite Japanese dishes, that was actually introduced into Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Seafood and vegetables are battered and deep-fried and served with a dashi-based dipping sauce. Just like with sushi you are probably not able to obtain the quality of professionally made tempura, but if you follow the recipe it should still be delicious! Making good tempura requires both some skill (to get a light and crunchy crust) and fresh high-quality ingredients. Tempura should be eaten as quickly as possible, so it’s best to make it in an informal setting where … Continue reading Tempura

Lamb-stuffed Eggplant

I invented this dish myself, so as far as I know it is not an authentic recipe unless I recreated it by accident. It’s definitely Mediterranean though. I love the combination of lamb, eggplant and rosemary and that’s why I created this dish. I’ve been making it for years and have made small improvements over time. It is not a lot of work but it does take a while to make, so when I want to eat this after work I will prepare the night before. Ingredients For 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings as a substantial appetizer … Continue reading Lamb-stuffed Eggplant

Veal scaloppine with Eggplant and Mozzarella (Scaloppine alla Melanzana e Mozzarella)

A well-known and excellent antipasto (that I haven’t posted about yet, but I will at some point) is involtini of roasted eggplant, mozzarella and basil. Years ago I thought it would be nice to combine this with veal scaloppine and a bit of tomato sauce. I really loved the result and made it often when I had guests over for dinner. I hadn’t made it for a few years until yesterday, and liked it as much as before. It’s not difficult to make but the taste is very impressive. Ingredients For 4 servings 4 veal scaloppine (around 120 grams/4 oz each), … Continue reading Veal scaloppine with Eggplant and Mozzarella (Scaloppine alla Melanzana e Mozzarella)

Japanese Chicken loaf with Eggplant and Ginger

My favorite Japanese cookbook is “Japanese cooking: a simple art” by Shizuo Tsuji. Since some ingredients are hard to come by outside of Japan and because I don’t have a very good reference (unlike Italian food, in many cases I don’t have a clue what it is supposed to taste like) I haven’t cooked as much out of this book as I would like to. One of my favorite recipes from the book that I have cooked many times before is the chicken loaf. Here I’ve served it with roasted eggplant, a ginger-soy dipping sauce and Japanese rice. This recipe … Continue reading Japanese Chicken loaf with Eggplant and Ginger

Ravioli stuffed with eggplant and lamb (Ravioli di agnello e melanzane)

I have never heard of this filling, but since I like the combination of eggplant, lamb and rosemary I tried it and it was delicious! So here’s how to make them… Ingredients For 4 generous servings: 750 grams (1.5 lbs) eggplants 250 grams (0.5 lbs) ground lamb 100 grams (3.5 oz) chopped onion 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 15 grams (1/2 oz) chopped rosemary freshly grated parmigiano reggiano salt and freshly ground black pepper olive oil 3 eggs 300 grams flour for pasta To serve: butter chopped thyme or rosemary freshly grated parmigiano reggiano Preparation Preheat oven to 175C/350F. Wash … Continue reading Ravioli stuffed with eggplant and lamb (Ravioli di agnello e melanzane)