Recipe: Bread on the mezze table (1)
There are a hundred and one ways of using bread on the mezze table, from canapes such as bruschettas, Grissini bread sticks with sundried tomatoes or Rocket pizzetas (I love these Italian names) to Rosemary focaccia or pitta bread with dips and crudites.
Bread makes fabulous picnic fare, of course. When we lived in the Galilee we would go into the hills many Saturdays. By the roadsides were Druze women baking flatbreads (try on a wide over-turned wok in Britain) which would be eaten rolled up with ‘labaneh’ – a soft white cheese made from yoghurt – , za’atar , picked on site , olive oil and a handful of olives.
In mediterranean tradition bread is eaten with every meal, often used to enjoy the sauces to the last drop. In Middle Eastern countries it is often broken by hand rather than sliced with a knife. We would tear off warm pitta to dip in houmus and tahini or pesto just as often as enjoying it filled, with salad and falafel.
A favourite choice from the MoreSouth bakery when a mediterranean buffet is ordered is Rosemary Focaccia.
Rosemary Focaccia Recipe
Knead some pizza dough and spread evenly into an oiled rectangular baking dish.
Beat together olive oil, tepid water and salt.
Dimple the dough with your fingers, brushing half the oil mixture over. Sprinkle on fresh rosemary and a little coarse rock salt .
Put in a medium oven for 30 minutes.
When baked drizzle immediately with the remaining oil mixture.
A variation of this is Olive Focaccia, where chopped black olives, parsley and garlic are worked into the dough while kneading, or sundried tomatoes.
Good toppings are grapes and fennel seed, or red onion sliced very thinly with goat’s cheese.
Next time we will be looking at the Canape menu.
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