Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mediterranean Tuna Salad Sandwiches on Rosemary Foccacia Bread

I served this great sammie with a simple green salad for our dinner tonight. I think it would be equally good made with chicken in lieu of the tuna fish.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad:

The original recipe from the Whole Foods Cookbook calls for 24 oz of tuna...I scaled the recipe back for us to have dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Just use whatever amount of any of the ingredients you like. It's all subjective to taste anyhow.

* 18 oz chunk light tuna in water, drained well
* the better part of a can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
* 1/3-1/2 cup chopped roasted red or Piquillo peppers
* ~1/2 cup sliced Greek olives
* ~2-3 Tbs red onion, finely minced
* 2-3 Tbs fresh Italian parsley, minced
* 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
* 1 large clove garlic, minced
* mayonnaise to your taste (I used about 1/4-1/3 cup)
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the tuna, artichoke hearts, red pepper, olives, onion, parsley, basil, garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together well. Serve on bread, atop a green salad or in lettuce cups.

Spelt Focaccia:

This is moist and delicious with a nice tender crumb. Easy peasy too! This from a chickie that has no idea how to make bread. :-)
The original recipe was found on Cook Anything's blog. Check there for much lovelier photos of this foccacia.

300 grams wholegrain spelt flour (sorry...I don't have a cup measure on this)
1 teaspoon Sucanat (or sugar)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh rosemary
garlic powder
red pepper flakes
grated Parmesan

To make the Topping:
Strip the rosemary from the stalk and place in a small bowl with red pepper flakes to taste, about 1-2 Tbs grated Parm., a shake of garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper. Add about 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil and mix.

To make the Focaccia:
In a large bowl, sift in the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Make a little well in the center and slowly incorporate the water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. You want the mixture to come together and lose most of it's stickiness (but honestly, mine stayed pretty sticky). Transfer to a spelt floured board and knead very briefly (10-20 seconds at most) to form a smooth ball. Place this in an oiled bowl and rub more oil on the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap - leave in a warm place to double in size (took about 30-40 min). Just a quick note...see all those little holes in the surface of the foccacia? Not the dimples, but the wee holes. I think I let it rise a little too long on the sheet before getting it into the oven, but it really didn't make a lick of difference in the quality of the bread. It was way better this time in fact than the last time I made it.

When doubled, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and using your hands push the dough to form a rough oblong shape (I made more of a rectangle this time, but the oblong is good for dipping in soups). Put this on a tray, dimple the surface with your fingertips then cover the top evenly with the rosemary topping. Place this in a warm place to rise again, covered with plastic for about 30-45 minutes. Make sure the dough is well oiled by the topping before covering with plastic, so it doesn't stick and deflate your dough.

Preheat the oven to 400 - sprinkle the bread with kosher salt and cook for 20-25 minutes (I took mine out at 18 and it was perfect...I spread it out a little thinner than usual though) or until the bread is golden and feels cooked through.

Cool on a wire rack.

If you made a thicker foccacia, you can slice it in half for sammies, or if you made it thinner, just use one layer per side of your sammie. This was so delicious!

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