|These gorgeous mini-peppers inspired a pan of focaccia|
The inspiration for the majority of my recipes comes directly from gorgeous produce. I usually know the type of recipe I'll be making within an instant of spying my plant-based muses. The colors and possibilities confront my senses and somehow transmit creative culinary impulses directly to my brain. I can taste the finished product – and see and smell it.
|Phytochemical overload, thanks to red, orange and yellow peppers and onions.|
|Focaccia, fresh from the oven|
- 2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup lukewarm water-not too hot, not cold or cool
- 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour [I used half unbleached white, half white spelt]
- About 1 T olive oil
- 1 tsp cornmeal
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups red, yellow and or orange bell peppers or mini bells, sliced [I quartered the minis]
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Brush a medium cookie sheet with about 1 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp cornmeal.
Remove the blade of your food processor. Sprinkle the yeast in your food processor cup. Pour the warm water over it, and add the sugar. Stir well with a fork and let stand for about 5 minutes. It should start to bubble, foam and/or appear to “move” slightly. This is the water and sugar at work, "waking up" and "feeding" the dormant yeast.
Add about 1 cup of flour and the salt. Attach the blade and process briefly to mix. Slowly add the remaining flour, about ½ cup at a time, processing between additions. Stop adding flour when the dough starts to form a dough ball and sticks to the sides of the processor. At this point, spin it about 25 times in the food processor.
|Dough, before rising|
When you remove the dough, it should be smooth and stretchy. Oil it, place it in a large bowl and cover with foil or a damp tea towel. Place in a draft-free, warm place, and let it rise until it doubles-about 1 hour.
|Dough, after rising|
Punch down the dough [the fun part!] and knead it for a few minutes.
Roll it out slightly ....
...And stretch it onto the oiled cookie sheet. Again, cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil over medium in a large pot. Saute onion and garlic until softish, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and saute for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook slowly until very soft, stirring occasionally, about 35-45 minutes.
Just before baking, use a chopstick or your fingers to make rows of small craters in the dough. Add peppers and adjust seasonings. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.