Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Simple Temptation

Focaccia in Padella con Pomodori Assortiti
Grill-Pan Rosemary Focaccia with Assorted Tomatoes

Sometimes we really don't want to go to too much trouble to prepare something wonderful to eat... but that's ok, because sometimes it really isn't necessary. Sometimes nature does a lot of the work for us, providing us with beautiful and delicious produce that takes very little effort to transform it into something tempting and terrific.

These are the times when it is good to have some "staples" that just make life a little easier. You will never find me buying a pre-made meal, soup out of a can or anything like that... but at the same time, you will hardly ever find my fridge lacking puff-pastry of pre-made pizza dough... and I unapologetically and happily use them and would never want to do without them! 

I always prepare myself fresh meals, but living alone, it just does not make sense to start making dough for just one pizza... it ain't gonna happen! I may do that for friends, but when get home from work- I just want to eat! And that does not accommodate for me waiting an hour for dough to be rising- ain't nobody got time fo dat!

So, armed with a roll of pizza dough, 1 beautiful, medium-sized red "couer de beouf" tomato, 2 equally beautiful, small green tomatoes and a handful of sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, a couple of Spring onions and some fresh rosemary and basil, I set about making a wonderful plate of rosemary focaccia with a most outrageously delicious tomato topping.

Healthy, simple, delicious, fresh, wonderful, inexpensive, quick and simply stunning-looking... need I say more? Nah, not really- I know! Except for the super-easy method for making this... because good food should be made for sharing!

No surprises and no hard work this time around... obviously the tomatoes need to be washed and sliced... but that's it! The Spring onion needs to be finely sliced to sprinkle on top... but otherwise- you're finished! But before you put your feet up to rest- do me a favor and turn on the stove, set the grill pan out to warm up and in the meantime, unpack that pizza dough for me, would you? Thank you so much!

Next, cut the dough into pieces that are small enough to fit easily in your grill frying-pan, scatter them with fresh rosemary, press it firmly into the dough and then let the fun begin! 

I laid the dough onto the hot frying pan, rosemary side down, pressed it down a little with a wooden spoon and waited for a good 2-3 minutes until the dough began to bake, stiffen and loosen itself from the surface of the pan. This made it much easier to flip over to bake the other side.

You are going to be very disappointed to hear that as soon as that dough is nice and golden brown, you have basically finished your work. Shocking news! 

All you need to do now is to set the "baked" flat-bread or focaccia to one side to cool... and to resist the temptation to already try some- although it already smells and looks delicious in itself, even without the tomatoes- hehe!

I started off by laying the larger slices of the red tomato out first and then sliding a leaf of basil underneath them here and there. Then came the green and obviously last but not least the sweet little cherry tomatoes- don't want to miss them!

Scatter the tomatoes with the finely sliced Spring onion, to add a much needed savory note. Next, add a tiny amount of sugar and then season with a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground, coarse, mixed pepper- tomatoes NEED seasoning! 

We are almost ready to enjoy- but first, we need to add a nice drizzle of olive oil, to bring everything "up a notch" and to make the already delicious flavors even better... a good olive oil simply cant be beat!

There you go- a lovely makeshift supper... a perfect brunch or lunchtime dish- or even great for a picnic if wrapped individually. This is such a simple affair that it is almost guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Obviously, you could always just make a tomato sandwich- but this is crispy, freshly baked and so, so much better! So go ahead, have some fun- and make a lot of people, including yourselves, very happy at the same time! That's what this cooking game is all about after all! Enjoy!

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