a sunday script with rain
Coffee and a dense chocolate cake with grapefruit zest in the white sun, in the cold, spitting rain.
I roasted shallots whole last night, an aubergine and red peppers, too, those pricked over — all without oil, not too hot and for a while. Beetroot, too, but halved, skin-on, then sliced into perfect smiling crescents and slipped in a little oil. We ate them today cold, their outer having wrinkled to almost crisp, their inner full, sweet, gelatinous.
I cooked some chickpeas like hell, late, around midnight, with rosemary and some fresh bay leafy stock. I heard this week that that’s the trick to smoothness: to cook them like hell, rather than to de-shell. To this, the end of a jar of tahini, garlic, pepper, lemon zest and juice, then blended hard, a plunging — a harsh sound for that late hour. About then, the clocks changed.
I peeled the aubergine with fingertips, and its stem fell away with the final strip. Sliced it, slimy, lengthways and then added it to a shallow dish, with piles of chopped mint and coriander. To this, roast pepper, sliced also, and its seeds not worried about, and still with its skin, unburned. I mixed it absently in the dish, with a hand of fingers bunched to a point. I added lots of sharp french mustard, muscat vinegar too. I warmed some oil in a small iron pan, then added chilli flakes, then coriander seeds, left it a second to mull, then tipped the oil and spices directly onto the cold aubergine flops, which fizzed.
We took the skins off of the shallots and had them as they were, with a little somaq. The paper skins had hardly coloured in the oven, and they sat on the counter while we ate; beautiful, brown, each layer still with its shape held. They rustled as I took them over in open palms to the open bin.
So — silky humous, warm cardamom rice, the beetroot, a whole banana shallot each, and sharp hot slippery aubergine with peppers.
For after, more milky coffee, and some flapjack, Hazel’s salty recipe with desiccated coconut. Very harshly white bright still, and raining more.