One day, Apollo, the sunny god, mocked Eros's power and was struck for his naughtiness with one of his love arrows, while his victim, beautiful virginal nymph Daphne received a lead one instead. Like all Greek gods, inflamed by the passion hidden in Eros's golden arrows, Apollo began to chase her relentlessly. Daphne asked her father, river god Peneus to set her free of Apollo's chase and she was turned into a laurel tree. Struck with grief and desire, Apollo vowed to love her to eternity and thus turned her into an ever green tree.
Laurus nobilis properties:
-treats rashes, colds and rheumatism
I'm presenting you two recipes with the laurel (bay) leaves I picked myself from the legendary tree in the Roman Forum.
SUMMER CHICKEN STEW
A rustic, delicious stew gathering summery flavors and colors, like a threshold between summer and autumn. You can also try the vegetarian version, by not adding the meat. I was delighted to stumble upon some organic mixed cherry tomatoes for this recipe and I encourage you to try it with whole cherry tomatoes.
Ingredients (4 servings)
6 chicken legs or wings
1 large chicken breast ( or two small)
500g cherry tomatoes
1 small eggplant ( I only used half of what you see)
2-3 large mushrooms
bell peppers mix (about 4)
250 frozen or fresh peas
1 large onion or 2 small
4 medium carrots
1/2 kilo potatoes
a few hot peppers ( to taste)
150g Kalamata or natural olives
fresh grated ginger (or frozen one, the best way to preserve fresh ginger is in the freezer. You can grate it whenever you need it and then put it back)
dry celery leaves
3-4 bay leaves
The purpose of the recipe being laurel tasting, we may add more leaves than usually, for this quantity. Cut the vegetables in chunk pieces. Leave the tomatoes and hot peppers as they are. Stir fry the chicken legs in a pan (I use a wok), with olive oil, remove and put them in a pot. Add the chicken breast, squarely cut and stir fry until golden, by adding a little bit more olive oil. When almost ready, throw in the olives and leave them for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place in the same stew pot. Add all the vegetables and the spices in the same pot, except for turmeric. Cover and let cook for about 30 min, at medium heat, by constantly stirring. 25 minutes into cooking, add and mix the turmeric. When the potatoes are ready, so is the stew. Serve with a good bread and sprinkled dill. Enjoy the summer essence and the Mediterranean flavors!
SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH VEGGIES, MELTING CHEESE AND BAY LEAVES
Ingredients (2 servings)
1 bell pepper, 1 mushroom and 1 small tomato
80g of your melting cheese of choice. I used cascaval, a delicious Romanian cheese ( I will soon write about it) resembling Mozzarella or Cheddar.
optional: 1 hot pepper, unseeded
1 crushed bay leave (use a mortar)
Mince the vegetables. Beat the eggs with the oregano and the crushed bay leave. Heat a pan with olive oil and stir fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Throw the egg mixture in, together with the melting cheese, broken into pieces by hand, and scramble your eggs on medium heat. Served here with lettuce, parsil and green onion salad (with lemon dressing). Pofta buna!
Cover photo: Thao Uyen
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!