Pic of Coca de recapte (Catalan flatbread) with roasted vegetables

Coca de recapte (Catalan flatbread) with roasted vegetables

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Coca de recapte (Catalan flatbread) with roasted vegetables

Serves 4 40 min
This recipe is by Riverford chef Ariana Martin, who is Spanish. Traditionally, this dish was made in villages at a time when peasants did not have their own ovens at home. They would collect the produce from their vegetables gardens and take it to the village bakery. The bakers would use the contribution from the villagers to bake ‘cocas’ (flatbreads), which everyone would share. This beautiful tradition of chipping in and sharing with the community still carries on in some villages in Spain. Many cocas are topped only with vegetables, but fresh sardines are also very common. In our recipe, Ari decided to use a more popular UK fish, that also requires less preparation: smoked mackerel, a fantastic oily fish that is at its most sustainable when caught with a handline on small boats. This is our British take on a very Mediterranean dish.

Cook's notes

In Catalonia, the most traditional coca de recapte is topped with escalivada (a combination of roasted red peppers and aubergine). But it really has its own culinary calendar adapted to the products in season. If you decide to leave the fish out, go heavier with garnishes and seasoning. Adding some fresh herb oil or finely chopped garlic can also make it a very satisfying and tasty dish. If you're wanting to save a little time, you could always pick up so flatbreads from your local shop.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 250g bread flour
  • ¼ tsp dry yeast
  • 2g sugar
  • 8g salt
  • 175g warm water

For the topping:

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 15g fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • ½ smoked mackerel
  • 20g Kalamata olives
  • 15g capers
Image of Coca de recapte (Catalan flatbread) with roasted vegetables

Method

Prep time: 40 min

Day one

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
  • Step 2

    To make the dough, combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour in the water and mix well. Cover with film and let it rest for 18-24 hours at room temperature.
  • Step 3

    Wash and dry the red peppers and aubergine and place them on a baking tray. Cook for 40-50 minutes, turning at least once during cooking, until they are soft and charred.
  • Step 4

    When cool enough to handle, remove the stems and peel away the skins. Remove the seeds from the peppers too, but refrain from cleaning them under water or you will remove much of the wonderful roasted flavour. It’s okay if there are a few seeds left.
  • Step 5

    Cut the peppers and aubergine into thick strips, 2-3 cm wide. Place them in separate containers along with any juices from the cooking. Add a few branches of rosemary (keep a little bit for garnishing at the end), a generous drizzle of olive oil and salt. Toss gently to mix and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.

Day two

  • Step 1

    Place your baking tray in the oven and preheat at the maximum temperature.
  • Step 2

    Flour your work surface and turn out the dough (lightly wet your hands with water to avoid the dough sticking). To shape the dough into a ball, fold the outside edges in on themselves pressing down with your fingers. Turn the whole ball over and with the sides of your hands resting on the table, shape the ball with an inwards rotation. Sprinkle the top with flour, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rest for 25 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Lightly flour your work surface again and stretch the dough into a rectangle shape, about 35x18cm. Use your fingertips to press the air to the edge to form a generous crust.
  • Step 4

    Transfer the dough onto baking paper and place strips of peppers and aubergine alternately. Add a good drizzle of olive oil and salt.
  • Step 5

    Before placing the coca in the oven, set your grill to a maximum power, so the flatbread is cooked from above too. If your grill is separate to your oven, you can finish it off on the grill. Slide it into the hot baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it has a nice golden colour.
  • Step 6

    Remove from the oven. If using mackerel, take the skin off it then gently tear it up with your hands and place on top of the coca. Garnish with olives, capers and chopped rosemary. Before serving, drizzle a bit more olive oil, a generous sprinkle of flaky salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
  • Step 7

    This dish can be enjoyed hot, cold or even the next day. It is perfect to take for a picnic, or served with a salad for a wonderful complete meal.

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