Coca Habit

Back in the early noughties, I once made some coca pie, a Catalonian pizza, for a birthday party. I remember it being easy and edible.

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Today, nursing a mild but well-deserved midsummer hangover, I suddenly remembered good old coca. It’s perfect for that dagen efter feeling (“day after” in Swedish, a popular description in southern Finland for hangover food and related typical cravings). Especially made with anchovies. Which I had.

The only thing that could possibly stop me satisfying my coca craving was that I was running out of flour and all the shops are closed for midsummer in Helsinki. So this required me to downsize. I made 1/3 of the normal amount of dough. This means, I can’t give exact, perfect measurements (typical) but I can tell you it turned out fab.

But should you have no shortage of flour, here’s how to make a whole oven tray of the stuff:

(based on A Finnish wine website’s recipe at http://www.viinimaa.fi/fi/viini+ja+ruoka/Reseptit/Kasvisruoat/Katalonialainen+Coca-piiras/)

  • some dry yeast (I’d say 1/2 a bag, original recipe recommends a whole bag, decide how fluffy you want your dough base to be, basically)
  • 8-9 dl flour
  • 3 dl water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sprinkling of sugar
  • 1/2 dl olive oil

topping:

  • 1 courgette, in long, thin slices
  • 1 tin of anchovy filets
  • green olives with lemon filling, halved
  • 2 red onions (or several red spring onions with stalks) thinly sliced
  • mini tomatoes, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • paprika (springled on top)

The toppings could include anything from thinly sliced bell peppers to aubergine to bacon or chorizo. What you want is a nice balance of savoury elements (anchovy, olives) and the veg. Some versions of coca are actually sweet. I might be tempted to try pear and blue cheese or fig and goat’s cheese at some point. Add some nuts and honey or balsamic syrup, and you’re in for a treat…

Anyway. I digress.

Mix your dough together. Start with water and oil, adding salt and sugar. Mix the dry yeast with the flour and mix in with the liquid. Knead until it’s a happy, sticky ball. Leave it to rest for about an hour. The resting is VERY important.

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Celsius.

Cut and slice the courgette and onions, and sauté with lots of olive oil in a pan. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the tomatoes.

When your dough is ready, splash some olive oil in your oven tray and place the dough in the tray as thinly as you can. You can roll it with a rolling pin but I found I didn’t have to.

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Layer the cooked courgette slices and onion onto the pie base, adding the tomato slices and olives evenly. Finally, add the anchovy filets as prettily as you can and sprinkle with paprika. Lastly, sprinkle some more olive oil.

Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. And there you have it.

Wait until it’s cooled down a bit and cut into handy slices. Enjoy at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

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