Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twilight menu (inspired by Stephenie Meyer's books)

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Yes, I have 'Twilight fever', or 'Twilight addiction'? Whatever the term, it gets to me at any given time of the day, and I have to open the closest of the Twilight saga's books I can find, and read a bit of it!

Yesterday I got it early in the afternoon, and it didn't go away. I had to act, so just for fun, but also out of necessity (of providing a meal for the family instead of reading...) I though of making a Twilight inspired menu...obviously vegetarian (but don't the Cullens call themselves the vegetarians of the vampire world?), or even more challenging (for me): vegan.

The colours had to be black and red, of course; my daughter insisted that we only buy the books with the red pages, and this was the first of my challenges: I really try not to use artificial colourings in my food, and so I looked for black and red ingredients. And of course the food should also be 'romantic and sensual', Italian and Mexican flavours (which are also mentioned in the books), just a little 'bite' in one of them perhaps?

The second challenge was that...I couldn't go shopping for anything new, I had to do with what was in the house, and at present it is very little because we are leaving in 10 days and I am slowly emptying the pantry!

But I have tomatoes in the garden...

Twilight Starter

Plum Tomatoes with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena

Well, the first was easy! Red tomato and Modena's black gold: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (ABTM), possibly one of the most sensual ingredients ever!

Fresh plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste (I used Maldon)
A few drops of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena

Assemble as shown in the photo.

New Moon 'Rice'

Tomato and Red Chili Sushi Rolls

I had nori, and it looks black and shiny. And Sushi rolls are round like the moon, but I needed a red moon! Actually, the red rice in the photo is not very clear, these looked much redder to the naked eye. Never mind, they tasted great, I even surprised myself, as I never though of combining tomato and chili with nori seaweed!

Short grain rice
Fresh tomatoes
red chili
Olive oil
Nori seaweed

I didn't measure the rice, I used what I had left. I washed it and cooked it by absorption. In the meantime I fried some fresh chopped tomatoes with garlic and 1 red chili using a little olive oil. Then I passed everything through a sieve to remove the skins and seeds. I added salt and I stirred the spicy sauce into the rice. I then rolled the rice just like for sushi rolls.

Eclipse Pizza

Red Pizza with Black Seeds

Pizza is a must when teenagers are involved (and it was the first food our heroes, Bella and Edward, shared). I scoured the pantry for black seeds, I finished the poppy seeds, but I had some black sesame seeds. I added the cumin seeds mostly for flavour. I also used up the remaining of a jar of roasted red capsicum antipasto. I finished all my fresh tomatoes with the first two dishes, so I used canned tomatoes instead.

Pizza dough, recipe here
Tomato Sauce, recipe here (but omit the basil)
Olive oil
Black sesame seeds
Cumin seeds
Roasted red capsicums

Follow the given links to make the pizza dough and the tomato sauce. I have to say that by this stage the most difficult thing for me was not to add anything green to my food! Roll the dough to fill an oven tray lined with baking paper. Better to make a pizza slab that can be cut into small pieces (good if you have a Twilight inspired party). Top with the tomato sauce, then add salt and olive oil, the seeds and the capsicums. Bake at highest setting in your oven until the borders are golden and it smells delicious!

Breaking Dawn Dessert

Black Sesame Seed Pudding with Rose Syrup and Red Rose Petals

I unashamedly admit that I am very happy with the dessert. In the pantry I found some surigoma, crushed black sesame seeds, and I remember that in Japan I enjoyed many sesame seeds desserts. And in the garden I had some beautiful red roses, not sprayed and therefore edible!

Breaking Dawn is all about love.....

50 g crushed black sesame seeds (available in Asian shops)
100 ml water
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 (one third) tsp agar agar (available in Asian shops)

For the Syrup
100 ml water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rose water essence

Finish with red rose petals

Place the first 4 ingredients in a small pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring well, and then pour into a small container. Set at room temperature, and then refrigerate. To make the syrup boil the water with the sugar until it halves in size, add the rose water and set aside. Before serving tilt the pudding from the container (this dose makes about 4 servings) and cut. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter here. Place on a plate decorated with rose petals. Drizzle with the syrup. Eat everything , the rose petals are delicious!!!!!

Last minute editing

Well, this menu is touring the globe now, who knows where it is now in web world, but I did find it already (the day after) in two places:

here (photos and recipes)

and here (as a link)

I am honoured guys, and I don't mind, really, but just as a you may know good blogging etiquette requires that you do put the link to this post, and since the photos are also my copyright (yes,
you have to write my name there too), you should comply.
Just add my name and link to the original post and you should be fine :-)

This one for example:

is ok, or this one

Thank you so much for
your cooperation.



  1. the pudding looks good and smooth. I haven't seen any black sesame seeds at our Asian groceries in Pukekohe.

  2. Arfi, you need to look for Asian shops which sell a lot of Japanese and Korean food :-)

  3. Really inspired indeed !
    And I'm partial to pizza !

  4. I love Twilight!!! Ho letto i libri in un soffio, uno lo divorato durante la traversata oceanica per l'Italia. Domandona appartieni al team Edward o al team Jacob?

  5. Non ho visto alcun twilight ma..questo emnù è favoloso!Brava Ale!Bacione e buon we ;)

  6. You are very creative. I love every morsel you've shown us. Your photos are, as always, spectacular.

  7. Thank you all for your comments.

    Ilaria, sicuramente Edward, ma io sono una per i libri piu' che per i film ;-)

    Saretta, infatti ticonsiglio i libri, ho visto il primo film, hanno fatto il casting bene e non e' male,ma i libri sono tutta n'altra cosa...lettura un po' puerile (all'inizio mi sono pure vergognata io che leggo Jane Austen ripetutamente!) pero' sono veramente romantici in un 'buon senso', senza sdolcinature, e ti coinvolgono.
    Non sara' letteratura, ma neppure Harry Potter lo e'...

    e' solo una bella lettura un po' additiva :-)

  8. Alessandra.

    You should be proud.

    Absolutely beautiful. You had me drooling at the Black seseame seed hearts. Stunning. What more can I say. I love it. You really really are exceptionally creative.

  9. Gee Mangocheeks, too much!!! Thank you!

  10. Very creative! I'd especially like to try the black sesame pudding. Love black sesame.

  11. Con il supporto di mia nipote, decreto:
    bellissimo il nori roll (scommetto buonissimo anche)
    il più bello però è il pomodoro con aceto balsamico... un incanto!

  12. Claudia, interessante vedere come a tutti hanno diverse preferenze...e tu sei proprio emiliana ne'?


    a tua nipote piace piu' Jacob o Edward?

  13. All in red, so beautiful. I love the tomato rice rolls. so innovative !

  14. Si Alessandra anche io preferisco i libri, team Edward non per l'attore ma per lui follemente e sdolcemente innamorato di lei. Il mio ragazzo per tutto i quattro i libri ha votato per Jacob, New Moon infatti e`dei quattro i suo libro preferito.

  15. Ben vedere che ci sono anche maschietti che lo leggono, mio marito non lo leggerebbe di sicuro hehehehe!

  16. Ciao, Alessandra. If you would like some Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, extravecchio or 12 years for your recipes we would be happy to present you with our product.
    Naomi da Aceto Downunder

  17. anche io come saretta non ho mai letto, né visto un twilight, però il menù è davvero originale!
    Buona cucina Alessandra ;)

  18. l’ho visto solo adesso.. ma essendo una fan scatenata della serie non potevo non fermarmi e dire WOWWWWWW

  19. Cannot believe you are a Twilight fan! Loved this post, made me smile & the pics are gorgeous.


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