6 August 2010 – Foccacia with scallions; veggie selection

We arranged to put off the bread for another day (it is rising now for tomorrow) so I could make a foccacia. I wanted to make a stab at replicating a fabulous-tasting foccacia we had for breakfast one day in May in San Francisco, at a place near Washington Square. I didn’t quite make it (much less oil, and less bright, fresh scallion taste) but it was still really good.

I chopped up 7 scallions (one bunch) and cooked them for a few minutes in butter and oil. I started with 1T each – then worried about what all that fat would do to my recipe. So I checked and found out the recipe called for 1/3 cup of olive oil. Not to worry. I poured the 2T or so fat into a 1/3 cup measure and filled it up with oil, and heated the scallions in that while the sponge was rising. Oh dear – hot scallions in hot oil – how can I add that to yeasties and not kill them? I realized that the next step called for adding not only the 1/3 cup oil, but also a half cup of water and 1/3 cup of white wine (which, being in the fridge, was quite cold). So I added these liquids to the scallions and oil instead, and the mix was quite a tame temperature. This I added to the sponge (then flour and salt, knead, etc.) I also cut up 2 scallions and left them uncooked to top one of the foccacia loaves, but I did immerse them in the oil (1T) that was to go onto the  top of that loaf. The loaves are also topped with 1/2 tsp. of coarse sea salt (the red one) before baking. I did manage to bake these in my small oven, which is only a few inches wider than the pans. The foccacia on top started getting overdone on top quite quickly, but reversing the positions gave me two nice loaves at the end. Here’s the one with the scallions on top:

I got a couple of cheeses at the Bowl to go with the foccacia – a crescenza by Bellwether farms, and a new ashed goat cheese by Laura Chenel called “Melodie.” Oddly, the Laura Chenel cheese says it is a product of France. I thought Laura Chenel was in Sonoma?

I had one leek left over that D had bought for me when I was making the tomato/leek tart last Saturday, and I decided to cook it a way we used to like, from a recipe in the Victory Garden Cookbook (outstanding – we call it the Joy of Vegetables b/c it gives you both the basics and some good recipes that go beyond what you expect). Anyway, this leek recipe has you sort of poach the leeks in water or stock (having only one leek, I decided not to defrost any stock) and topping the warm, drained leek with a dijon vinaigrette. It’s a nice dish – sort of intriguing. Could use for company. I bought radishes and “Romanita”  tomatolets at the Bowl when I went for the cheese (also tomorrow’s lamb rib chops!) and added tiny carrots and some thin celery from yeasterday’s trip (two heads for 29 cents on special – somehow this seems wrong).

The wine was a recently-discovered new favorite, and went extremely well with the foccacia and cheese.

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