Tapas for Brunch

Midnight sun
Midnight sun

Brunch has become a habit in our kitchen. It happens every year. And every year I tell myself that maybe this summer we will try hold a schedule. I have been trying to get up on some mornings early to go for a run, a bikeride, a little trip to the flea market or maybe some pilates. I don’t leave the house too early as it is usually already eight o’clock. When I return an hour or two later, as I often have met a friend along the way and ended up chatting for quite some time, the house is still quiet and only a few are at breakfast. June was chilly but July has really warmed up. Maybe it is all the swimming the children do that really tires them out or perhaps it is the light evenings that stretches bedtimes hours later than in the winter.

baking tin

On Saturday morning I slipped out to the outdoor flea market. Sometimes I take some of the children with but as they were all in deep sleep I left by myself. I found this baking tin with very shallow rounded forms and it says, made in England. It was looking quite worn but I think it will still work and it only cost an euro. It is sitting on my counter in my kitchen waiting for me to do a little research. Perhaps there is a traditional pastry that the tin was used for and perhaps someone brought it from England as a souvenir. The gentleman selling it had a whole collection of antiques and old things. I’m quite sure he had not baked with it as he didn’t seem to have answers to my questions. Perhaps one of my dear readers might know the original purpose of the tin?

tapasLast April when I visited my sister in Detroit we visited a tapas restaurant called La Feria. We had grilled portobella with a sauce of parsely, lemon and garlic, mussels in a white wine sauce and a fried eggplant with honey. They were all just perfect in their simplicity with clean and fresh flavors and we both agreed that fried eggplant drizzled with honey tasted similar to French toast. And so in my kitchen this July is fried eggplant.

fried eggplantI would suggest using the graffiti eggplant or Japanese eggplant which are lighter purple in color and have a thinner skin. I used the most common variety, globe eggplant, and the skin was a bit tough chewing. I first cut them into thick sticks, spread them on paper towels and sprinkled them with salt. I let them sit for about fifteen to twenty minutes. The salt help pulls out the excess moisture and will make frying easier.

breading eggplantThe eggplant at La Feria was deep fried but since I don’t have a deep fryer and I didn’t want to have the excess of oil leftover after frying in a sauce pan, I just heavily coated the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil.

Berenjenas Fritas – Fried eggplant

1 eggplant, cut into thick sticks
salt for sprinkling on the egglplants and a dash to mix with the almond meal
1.5 dl/ generous half cup almond meal
olive oil

After the eggplant has been sprinkled with salt and has rested for about fifteen to twenty minutes, gently pat dry with a paper towel. Place the almond meal in a bowl and mix in a dash of salt. Generously pour olive oil into the pan so that coats the whole bottom. Coat each piece of eggplant with the almond meal before placing in the frying pan. Allow to fry to so that it gains a bit color and then turn. You may fry several pieces of eggplant at the same time. In between batches I removed some of the almond meal that was swimming in the oil as it was starting to darken and added a bit of fresh oil. Enjoy for brunch or in the evening after a day of swimming. Serve hot with a drizzle of honey.
swimming in july collageThis post is part of Celia’s In My Kitchen series for July. Check out her blog for a great list of blogs from around the world that all invite you into their kitchens.


    1. I am still the eggplant novice and love finding new ways for preparing it. Once I made an Middle-Eastern inspired paste from roasted eggplant for flatbread and it was delicious. Yes it is a tart pan with nine mini little holes. Can’t wait to try it 🙂

  1. I don’t know about your pan, may need liners though:) Wonder if Grampa would sample eggplant prepared this way. Sounds delicious, love the pictures.

    1. Well, I guess Grampa won’t sample the eggplant 🙂 That’s okay…we all probably have something we would prefer not to sample! I gave the pan a good scrubbing and although it is clearly worn and not necessarily pretty it is smooth to the touch and so with a generous spray of oil or buttering and flouring it, it just might work. I’ll post about it once I try it out. ❤ Laila

  2. Hello my dear,
    The pastry baked in the shell shaped form are called Madelines. Try googling it as shell shaped pastry.
    You and Kaija can enjoy egg plant in any form, but I’ll pass. We enjoyed a visit with; Kaija, Antti &Jill at Pekka’s last Sunday with Carole & Jerry. Fun!
    I so enjoy your blog.

    Love, Grampa

  3. My grandmother had a baking tin with patterned round holes that she used to make jam tarts in though I’m not sure if that was the proper use or if she did it because we children liked the patterned pastry. The eggplant recipe sounds good and different to the normal way I cook them; I’ll have to try it.

    1. I really think that the baking tin can be used in many ways and your grandmother’s jam tarts sound delicious. I think my kids would like the patterns as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I love tapas and think it’s a wonderful idea for brunch. The eggplant and honey intrigues me, sounds really delicious and I am in love with that baking tin. Isn’t it wonderful getting out early and having some time to yourself to visit the market, talk with friends, exercise.

    1. Yes, having a moment just to yourself is wonderful and calming even at a busy market square. I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging as we went on a family trip…but everywhere I looked or pointed my camera I found new things to blog about and my fingers are just itching to get writing. 🙂 Ever happen to you Suzanne?

      1. I can’t wait to see the photo’s and posts of your vacation. I love seeing where my blogging friends go and what they do and how they interpret through their camera. I never go away anymore because of my dogs so I live vicariously through my blogging friends. I do however take short trips into the city and get idea’s from what I see there.

  5. Sounds so lovely. Your whole post. Your early visit to the flea market, these wonderful fried eggplant with honey, and your tapas brunch in Detroit. I have not heard to use almond meal as a coating for vegetables. Makes perfect sense. I am going to make you eggplant recipe, I can not pass it up!

    1. Yes, I agree…it was a great bargain. I had a look at your links and it is exactly the same pan. Wonderful! Thanks for the links, I certainly look forward to baking with it now that we returned from our family trip. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Tapas is a wonderful way to eat, but there aren’t a lot of good ones I have found so far in Queensland, Australia. Thanks so much for sharing! Liz x

    1. I don’t think I can find great tapas in our city either so that means we’ll have to make epic ones at home 🙂 Hope you have a chance to try out the recipe!

  7. Thank you Laila again for a lovely and mouth watering post.

    Tapas is a decadent and delicious way to eat lots of morsels of tasty food…Elizabeth from Australia…you can buy lots of intriguing goodies in jars and serve them out on a large platter adding your own other favourite goodies. Aldi has some nice tapas ideas in jars. I think I bought the basil pesto style tapas as it intrigued me, but I have yet to use it….Tapas is very moreish .
    Alexa from Sydney, Australia

    1. Hi Alexa, I tend to agree with you. It is a wonderful way to taste many interesting flavors and is really is quite suitable when entertaining…or really for any occasion.

  8. Brunch is a great meal. My last eggplant had thick, chewy skin too, so I was a little disappointed. I do like eggplant though. Enjoy the lack of schedule. 🙂

    1. We have been enjoying our lack of a schedule and returned back from a family trip…it won’t be long and school will be starting. So quick the summer is! Do you have other eggplant varieties available that might have a thinner skin? Our normal grocery stores do not.

  9. Fried eggplant coated with almond meal and drizzled with honey, that really does sound so good. This I may try sometime. Like you I do not have a deep fat fryer as I tend not to cook many deep fried foods. Love the vintage look of that patty cake/gem cake tin, I have similar but without the embossed designs. Looks like fun at the beach… enjoy you summer. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. I hope you have a chance to try the recipe out…the only time I really deep fry is when I make donuts for May Day (they are the traditional fare here) 🙂 Our summer has been slipping by so quickly and we have been lucky to get a few weeks of really warm weather!

  10. The “Midnight sun” picture is awesome! It looks like you have in your area kind of polar nights when sun do not disappeared full day long. Even at night time there is a dim light around.

    1. The midnight sun is not as bright as it was just a few weeks ago. We just returned home from Rovaniemi which is in the artic circle. It just barely gets a little a darker around 1 am and at 2 am it is already getting lighter. Rarely did I go to sleep before 2 am and so I witnessed it nearly every night. 🙂 Hope your summer has been going well.

  11. Summer in Finland – what gorgeous happy photos of your family, Laila! That baking pan is intriguing – I wonder how hold it is? Obviously it was to bake something that would be inverted, so that the design would show on the top? Just saw that your grandfather said it’s a madeline pan, that would be very pretty, but I always find the batter sticks a lot, so you’d need to grease really well, I think. Eggplant looks absolutely delish! xx

    1. Finally getting around to answering your comment Celia! We have been on a family trip and so there has been a little break…which is probably healthy at times 🙂 Johnnysenough sent a link about the pan and dates to the 1940s -1950s. It will be interesting to try a recipe or two with the pan as soon as we get back into everyday life. The laundry is still partly in the luggage waiting to be sorted and washed! Thank you for stopping by.

    1. Hi Sherry, one pinterest post called it a fairy cake/tart/bun tray and it dates to the 1940s-50s…so I guess it could be used in multiple ways. Can’t wait to try something out and share with you. 🙂

  12. Delicious! I wonder if that tin isn’t for cakes or biscuits, based on those shell like indents at the top…

  13. I agree with the last comment, it is what we call a patty tin, for baking jam tarts or mince pies. I would think everyone in the UK has one, those who bake anyway!

  14. That first picture is just from my own meadow, how it looks right now, at night. As always I enjoy your posts and photos. And you really made me want to make a fish soup. Actually I usually make mine with different fish from the sea (included salmon), but since my roots are inland I hope to try this with trout.

    1. Yes, I suppose the view is quite similar 🙂 We just spent some time up in Lapland and the night is even lighter than in southern Finland and the sun would start to come up again at 2 am…I know…since I was usually going to bed at that time (I know, WAY too late!) Thank you for your lovely comment.

  15. That’s great meal for brunch or dinner! I’m adding crush nuts on a roasted chicken or veggies too, it gives a nice crunchy texture. 🙂 and I love!!! your tin tray!

  16. Love the eggplant recipe, and it’s gluten free!! Having just returned from Turkey where they serve tapas type spreads called ‘mezzes’ and have just made baba-ghanouj (ganoush), the roasted eggplant with a touch of garlic and it is so delicious.

    1. I just had a mezze tray at a restaurant and it was delicious, definitely material for a future post. I’m still quite a novice with all of the components of mezze. 🙂

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