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….
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.