It was a summery Thursday afternoon in one of Belgium’s biggest cities. Like most summery Thursdays around this time, rain was pouring down and hundreds of people were getting into their cars to leave town. The prospect of sitting inside their house instead of their office filled their hearts with joy. We, the Belgians, were going home and no one was going to stop us. Or not.
My car, my freedom
Some people don’t seem to get the concept of traffic. The fact that everyone actually wants to move forward is too much for them. The road rage that comes with it makes my heart cringe. Even worse than when I hear someone say no to dessert.
During the course of 1 hour and 15 nerve-wrecking kilometres I have seen 12 middle fingers (none of them directed at me but still), 4 drivers yelling like it changes things and a certain nobody getting out of the car to knock on others. Well, newsflash. There is no I in traffic. Oh wait… But you get my point.
By the time I finally got home I was in desperate need of a fix. You know, just a little something to take the edge off. My disappointment in human kind and the lack of car snacks had been too much to take. My heart was racing and I felt blood pumping through my body. Salvation was near. I jumped out of the car and swiftly unlocked the back door. There was no time to lose and I made my way straight to the corner of the kitchen.The fridge was standing there like a guardian of all that is good in this world. Like a beacon of hope in desperate moments. It was holding the one thing that even in the darkest of times is able to bring out to light. There it was. One thing to rule them all. Ricotta. And all was well.
I barely resisted the urge to spoon down all of the ricotta at once. Instead, I went for the winning combo of charred eggplant and prosciutto, all layered up with grilled garlic tomatoes and a lemony arugula. The French call it a millefeuille, a thousand layers of goodness. I added ricotta with every layer. Happiness does not have limits.
For the exact recipe my dish was based on, check out this video. The chef is Pascal Naessens, a Belgian foodie reference that knows healthy doesn’t equal hungry. It’s in Dutch but even those who don’t understand will get the point.