We've had a really late season for tomatoes - in fact all of our veggies, bar zucchini, because the temperature has been lower on average. This week was the first week we've had a bit of a a harvest - they've been totally tasty. Little yellow cherry tomatoes and beautiful black russians I've been scoffing just standing in the vegetable garden. I pretty much loathe store bought tomatoes and never add them to my salads - but if I have real tomatoes, I love them drizzled with balsamic, olive oil and salt, with fresh garden basil.
Even better than that is a fresh bread to dip into the dressing and mop up the tomato juice. I'm not sure if I decided to make foccaccia to go with the salad, or salad to go with the focaccia! Either way, fresh focaccia is delicious and much easier to make than you think. This one has a lovely olive tapenade I made with my sister's homegrown olives. They'd started to go quite soft in the jar, so were easy to squish off the pip and blend with a roast red pepper, a bit of olive oil, garlic and shallots.
Sometimes, 'plant based' or 'vegan' doesn't have to be complicated. We don't have to overthink it. Many traditional, easy recipes don't have meat in them anyway - and what makes for a more simple lunch than bread and salad? You could do worse. A tin of chickpeas would also be amazing in a tomatoey salad for the extra protein - or lentils. Liberal splashes of balsamic and olive oil are a must!
Use a good quality flour if you can - I used a nice biodynamic white flour. The kneading doesn't take long, especially if you load a few tunes. There's not real trick to focaccia - in fact, you'll find it so easy that you'll wonder why you haven't made it before. It's a gorgeous addition to a picnic or to wow guests. And double the recipe - why make one when you can make two?
3 cups plain white flour
2 tbsps olive oil
1 7g packet of yeast
2 tsp of sugar
1.25 cups of warm water
1 tsp of salt
Add salt to the flour and sift. Mix all other ingredients together and wait 5 minutes til the mix becomes frothy and bubbly.
Add water to flour and mix in the bowl til it starts to sticky together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface (I love my granite benchtop for this) and knead until soft and pliable - around 10 minutes but often less.
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a wet teatowel. Leave for 45 minutes until doubled in size.
Press onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or oil. Cover with wet teatowel and leave for 20 minutes.
Then, press fingers into top of dough to form little indentations. Brush or drizzle with olive oil and add your chosen herbs and/or tapenade. I used rosemary and olive tapenade. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake in a 200 C oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow underneath.
Do you make your own foccacia? What toppings do you enjoy on it?
This post was created for #fruitsandveggiesmonday, an iniatitive by @lenasveganliving on Steem. Join in with your vegan recipes on Mondays to win, and get inspired by great plant based food. Natural Medicine also proudly contributes a little steem to the reward kitty.