I had a happy evening yesterday.
A couple from Vienna who come every now and then showed up unexpectedly. Oh I was so happy to see them! Rocky and Petra from Vienna, so of course I had a late night. We drank a lot of Vino and had a lovely evening chilling outside and sharing stories from our lives.
I told them about growing in Florence many moons ago when Florence was an obscure city which you only read about in school books. I remember when there were few noisy cars and few Vespas, I remember walking past Piazza Duomo every day to go to school. I have this vivid photograph in my mind of a navy blue cinquecento parked in front of the cathedral. I remember skipping school and finding refuge in the Uffizzi, back when there were no lines, very few tour groups, and access to the museum was free to European Residents under 18. I always had a notebook with me and wrote short stories in it. I have spent a lot of time in Florentine museums avoiding school. I enjoyed wandering around the city. Florence was dirty, noisy, lively. Artisans yelling in the streets, shop keepers cleaning the sidewalk. Florence smelled like Florence. I sound as though I were from another era! But no! This was only 30 years ago.
Nowadays Florence smells like any other big city in the world.
Shopkeepers and Artisans are no longer screaming in the street. Streets are almost too clean, and unique little shops are few. In there place there are stores which can be found in any city or mall in the world.
Summers in Florence were damp and mosquitoes abundant.
There was no air-condition in homes and everyone's windows were open. We could hear each other's televisions. We could smell each other's cooking. The air lingered of fresh tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and eggplant. I particularly remember the smell of eggplant parmesan. Oh it was so delicious. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
My grandparents had a large vegetable garden at their home in the Tuscan Countryside, and my grandmother would cook up whichever vegetable was ready that morning. As all gardeners know, zucchini grow at a very fast pace. One day they are tiny, the following they are huge! So here is my recipe for a Vegan Zucchini Parmesan.
- 4 round Zucchini
- 1/2 cup of rice flour
- Oil for fryer
- 2 16oz canned organic tomatoes
- 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- mozzarisella fumè
- rounds moulds
- nutritional yeast
- slice the zucchini using a mandolin into 1/8" thick slices
- dip in rice flour and fry until crispy. Set aside.
- place olive oil, basil and garlic in a pan. Add the pureed tomatoes, and fill half of the emptied can with water and pour into the sauce. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until quite dense. Remove the basil leaves.
- Slice your faux mozzarella into slices.
- Use a mold. Place a slice of fried zucchini first, then a slice of faux mozzarella, a tsp of nutritional yeast (optional) and a ladle of tomato sauce. Repeat process until mold is full.
- Use the same process for all molds.
- I cooked the Zucchini Parms for 20 minutes at 375°