The season is changing.
From a nice after-summer we are plummeting in autumn. Last weekend I saw people scratching ice from there windshields. Most of the trees dropped their shame and are standing naked amidst their red, amber and yellow dresses. Storm “Sandy” raged over the Pacific and east coast of the USA, and left a lot of people powerless behind. These are the times we need comfort and safety. These are moments when we realize we are mortals and we have to connect, reach out to those in need.
A strong binding element is sharing food together. Food drenched with the juice of caring, sharing and saying:”you are welcome, come in and feel at home”. On the verge of leaving for my Venice trip, I am invited by Peter, who lives in this beautiful city of canals, for a lunch on Saturday. Shopping will be done at the Rialto market, where fresh fish is brought in by boat from the”Laguna Veneta”. I imagine a light drizzle when I step out of the Vaporetto, and put my collar up to keep out the cold. I remember a very small bar on the entrance of the matcket, only room for the Barista; as customers you drink your coffee on the street. But the cappuccino they serve is so nice, strong in flavor but still soft on the tongue.
While the rain is pattering against the windowpane this is a good moment to make some comfort food. Lets bake a nice warm garlic olive bread to give it a Mediterranean twist. This goes well at the end of the afternoon, with a tasty chunk of cheese and a glass of red wine.
What you need:
250 grams of plain flour (1 3/4 cup)
250 grams of whole wheat flour (1 3/4 cup)
2 teaspoons of dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
garlic pressed or chopped
herbs, I suggest rosemary, or thyme
How to make it:
Mix flour, salt and yeast, and herbs together in a bowl
Add luke warm water and stir until it sticks all together
Put it on your counter top and knead at least for 5 minutes to a soft dough
Put baking-paper in a tin, dust in some flour
Shape the dough in the tin and press in the corners
Spread your pressed garlic over the top, with some more herbs
Now push in your olives, like you were planting seeds
Cover with a wet cloth and let it rise until twice its size
Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius
Take it out of its tin, and let it steam a bit on a rack for 15 minutes
I took here the liberty to put some goat cheese on top, with a bit of tomato paste
While the sent of the garlic and herbs fill the room, pop the cork, cut the cheese,
and be happy
with love theDUTCHCOOK