One dish that certainly has the potential to convince me to go vegetarian is melanzane parmigiana, aka aubergine parmigiana, aka eggplant parm. Aubergine slices fried in oil until soft (don’t believe those health-obsessed liars who say they can be baked or grilled with no oil), drowned in homemade (but of course) yet simple tomato sauce, layered with cheese, basil and more cheese… Who needs meat?
The striped aubergine seems to be in season now and it may not taste different but looks nice – and that’s halfway there to better taste. All in all – that’s one dish to cook this week.
For a weeknight or a depleted fridge, I have the scaled down version: vegetable parmigiana; which is the clear-out-your-fridge type of recipe. And if you fancy the dish but really REALLY must have meat, make the pork parmigiana – or replace the pork with chicken and follow the rest of the recipe.
That’s one, or rather three suggestions. I’m going to make a salad with the giant Israeli couscous this week and it will certainly appear here – for now, there’s the very good chicken couscous salad.
If you think salmon is boring, think again: ever cooked it with blue cheese? There you go then – salmon en papillote (that's wrapped in foil to you and me) with blue cheese. I would serve it with crunchy cabbage salad.
We’re not quite in the barbecue season yet but if you fancy burgers, make them with prawns. Such an overlooked dish, so unfairly – it’s all the joy of having a burger without the beef – or even haloumi – heaviness.
Courgette and spinach tian could be a good option for one night, with some crusty bread – perhaps even homemade, like the cheat’s sourdough with rosemary? That recipe is known to be a breakthrough for bread baking novices.
And if you get carried away with baking activities, make a dozen Italian ricotta cookies – a week is not complete without cake or at least a cookie.