RECIPE: Spanish Vegetable Tart (Coca de Verduras)
This is one version of the delicious savoury cocas prepared on the Spanish Balearic Islands. They are sold in nearly every bakery and are often eaten out of hand while standing up in the bakery, as a breakfast on the way to work, or as an afternoon snack on the way home or after school. They are usually eaten at room temperature and make wonderful side dishes for a cold summer buffet, picnic or evening snack.
There are many variations of coca and in winter the peppers may be substituted by Swiss chard or spinach and without tomatoes. Here is one recipe which is also know as 'Coca de Tremp. Often the red peppers are skinned and in strips, and accompanied on top of the coca by artichoke hearts, olives and anchovies. This would be called 'Coca Amb Pebres', where 'pebres' are the red peppers in the Mallorquin dialect.
(From the Island of Mallorca)
Ingredients for 4 people:
4 cups (500 grams) all purpose flour
1 oz (25 grams) fresh yeast or 1 pkg dry yeast
4 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup (2 oz or 50 grams) lard
3 medium Italian sweet green peppers or green bell peppers cut in small pieces
3 spring onions - cut in small pieces including all the stalk
3 ripe medium sized tomatoes- sliced finely
1 clove of garlic - sliced finely
1 handful of Italian flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 TBS of sweet red paprika
water - 1 cup lukewarm
1) Turn on the oven and set temperature at 375 F (191 C)
2) Put the warm water in a mixing bowl (preferrable one of porcelain or terracotta) and dissolve the yeast in it.
3) Add the lard and the olive oil. Add the flour gradually, mixing in by hand until the mixture leaves the side of the bowl.
4) Form a ball and let it rest for a few minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
5) Chop and slice vegetables into a large bowl, add the paprika and some salt and mix all together.
6) Lightly oil either a round pan of about 13" diameter (32 Cm) or a rectangular pan 13" x 11" (32 Cm x 27 Cm) both with a depth of approx 1/2 inch (1 cm). A cookie sheet or oven tray would be ideal.
7) Place dough in centre and carefully stretch it out with palms of hands, patting to fit pan, keeping an even thickness. It should be thin.
8) Arrange vegetables evenly on top of the dough, drizzling at the same time with olive oil and salt.
9) Put coca into oven for about 1 hour or until crust is lightly golden and vegetables are cooked. After taking it out of the oven, drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
10) In winter the vegetables may be swiss chard or spinach, substituting the peppers, but also used raw and finely chopped.
Source: translated from "Cocina Balear" Ana Maria Calera
Editorial Everest - Leon (EspaÃ±a)
Here are photos from one I made yesterday for our Pizza Party over on the Cooking Forum. I added a few sliced black olives.
And I chopped the vegetables much finer than I did in the older photos above. Much easier to cut and serve.
I must add that the pastry is dead easy to make....no rolling out, just push the ball of dough with your fingers to stretch and fit the pan.
The whole tart can be prepared in just a few minutes......and it's so good, especially when cold! So it would be great as a lunchbox item.
- taking it outside to eat.
Heated up for breakfast next morning.