Inspiration from Meghan

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Tomasil Focochi



As soon as I sampled the treat that was the Strawberry Rhubarb Cake last week, I immediately began thinking of all the other ways I could use the moist and cakey base.  With local tomatoes and basil in abundance, I thought, Hey, why not take this cake to Italy and call it bread, or Tomasil Focachi (pronounced toe-may-sill foe-kah-chee).

Every great recipe deserves a great story and since I don’t have one to go with this fresh baked bread, I will tell you a story about Italy.

When I was 19, I went backpacking around Europe on my own. After the ten days I spent in France with my momma, I set out solo to Spain. Barcelona was my first stop where I found myself sharing a room with two Australian girls. Come Saturday night, we decided to make like the Spaniards, dress up like hoochies and hit the Discoteca (seriously, can we bring back that word?)

We hadn’t gone two blocks down Las Ramblas when we met tres chicos guapos (loosely translated: three hotties). I thought they were Spanish, but alas, they were Italian.  Same tight jeans though (and likely had their Invicta backpacks back in their room). Either way, they didn’t speak a word of English. Erik Carvhalo (are you out there?) was crazy cute. We all spent the night drinking Sangria, dancing to the sounds of Cher and Ricki Martin, it was 1999 after all. Come dawn, after watching the sunrise over the beach, the boys walked us back to our hostel.

Standing outside the door to the hostel, the other two ladies skedaddled inside. Erik and I loitered about awkwardly, until he finally pulled the kind of suave only a true Italian man could. He leaned over and said “Communication eeeze verrrry (roll that R) deefeecult. Deee language of love… Always deee same”.

Surprisingly, despite being Italian, he smelled nothing like basil, which is what I thought all Italian’s should smell like. He smelled good none-the-less and that early morning on that quiet street off Las Ramblas, we said our goodbyes. He was heading back to Italy that afternoon but that was not the last I would see of Mr. Erik Carvhalo….

Too be continued tomorrow along with another Italian inspired recipe….



Tomasil Focochi

by Meghan Telpner

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer bread lunch side snack dairy-free gluten-free soy-free low-sodium vegetarian basil brown rice flour Italian


Ingredients (1 loaf)

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 walnuts, ground into flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 egg or egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup sliced olives


Preheat oven to 350.

Oil round pie plate and dust with flour.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, soda, and salt.

Add the egg, vinegar, olive oil, applesauce.

Mix together even batter.

Add tomatoes, basil, and olives.

Pour in to cake pan let sit for 20 minutes.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Slice into long 2 inch wide pieces.

Enjoy this breadiciousness dipped in a mix of flax oil and balsamic vinegar or with your favourite soup. You could even slice through the middle and use it as sandwich bread. Best savoured while in the company of an Italian.

18 responses to “Tomasil Focochi”

  1. regina says:

    This is very amusing. And your recipe looks fantastico! Ciao from Italy :)

  2. Elana says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Never ever stop being you.

  3. Cindy says:

    Juicy AND delicious! Can’t wait for part 2

    That cake looks muy fantastico! MMM

    and who didn’t love Ricky Martin? Livin’ La Vida LOCA BABY!

  4. Meghan Telpner says:

    And you know I was giggling as I wrote this Elana. Sparkles to you.

  5. Alex says:

    This recipe just plum dropped out of Heaven for me. I have been looking for a gluten-free, yeast-free, sugar-free, non-breadmaker bread for ages. Seriously, I dare you to Google that. It doesn’t exist!

    Hurray! I’m making this ASAP!

    Thank you recipe-Angel!


  6. Alex says:

    ps. do you think pumpkin puree would work in place of apple sauce?

  7. Meghan Telpner says:

    I don’t see why not. Let me know how you go with it!

  8. Jes says:

    You are EVIL to leave us hanging! :) But the recipe was a good intermission!

  9. Marianna says:

    Thank you for the funny story and for the recipe!
    By an Italian fan of your blog! :)

    … Even though the Invicta backpack is not so trendy anymore I still use it for my trips! Mine is blue and orange! ciao, ;)

  10. Meghan Telpner says:

    I love it Marianna! I want one… the 90’s version and I am not kidding.

  11. Sprouted Kitchen says:

    this looks so good, and filling too! It is something different and can’t wait to try!

  12. Allie says:

    I tried making the Tomasil Focochi last night, but it did not hold together — although it is delicious crumbs (I’ll use it to bread some tofu, I think). I used the Ener-G egg replacer for the egg. Is that the problem?

  13. Amanda says:

    I gave this a go last night. The top was lightly brown and the skewer came out clean so I took it out of the oven. However, I think it was still slightly moist on the inside so it could have stayed in for the full 30mins. Maybe next time I will turn the heat down at around the 20min mark so as not to burn the top but still let it cook through. Otherwise, pretty nice! I love my bread and this was a lovely gluten free alternative.


  14. Aletheia says:

    So when I say I love this bread A LOT, I’m not kidding. I love this bread so much that I’m making it for the 4th time today. In fact, the baby is in the oven as I sit and type this.

    I just wanted to echo the others who have made it in saying that it was supermoist – mine also didn’t hold together the first 2 times. Thus I tweaked it for trials #3 and #4 – only used half the tomato, omitted the applesauce (although I think it tastes better WITH it – was just trying to omit any wet ingredients that I could), and used dried herbs instead. I might have added just a tad bit more flour too.

    :) lots of love to everyone but especially to MEGSTER-GENIUS – wahaha!

  15. Odelia says:

    Well this is September 2010 and I just want to tell you that this recipe is STILL RIDICULOUS!

    I can’t believe I made something so tasty!! I made some basic substitutions based on what I had (parsley, pureed pumpkin, chickpea flour instead of walnuts)…yes, it’s a bit moist inside but omigosh…this is basically gourmet pizza for those who can’t have it! I am beyond jazzed. So rad, so rad. And by tomorrow it will have set even more, so it’s all good…

    Thanks so very much Meghan!

    – Odelia :o)

    P.S. I’ve owned a Vitamix for 24 hours and I am infatuated – thanks for the hookup!

  16. Erin says:

    I omitted the 1/3 cup water because of the comments that read it was too moist (and it wasn’t mentioned in the directions). The bread turned out crumbly but tasty… is it possible that’s because I used flax/water instead of egg? Or does it need that 1/3 cup of water?

  17. Love In The Kitchen (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) (@meghantelpner) says:

    a little love story and the best tomasil focochi #recipe

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