The first day of fall is here, but I’m still hanging on to summer. Thankfully, the weather has allowed us a few stolen moments to swim at the lake and enjoy some heat. The kids have been enjoying the amazing new splash pad at Gibson Park.

The tomatoes and basil are enjoying the heat too – the garden is brimming with Roma tomato, cherry tomato and yellow taxis! This makes for a tasty appetizer or savoury bread.

When using fresh local ingredients, cooking simplifies itself. Basil and tomato are best of friends, in the garden and in the kitchen.

Enjoy the late-coming heat of summer. Steal away to the backyard and taste local and fresh; support your local growers.

Happy cooking!

 

Cracked Pepper, Goat Cheese and Tomato Flat Bread

 

2 cups lukewarm water

1 Tbsp. local honey

1 Tbsp. dry active yeast

6 Tbsp. olive oil

5 – 5-1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

2 tsp. rosemary, chopped

2 tsp. thyme, chopped

1 tsp. sea salt

 

Topping:

1 pint assorted cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 Tbsp. sliced red onion

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. chopped basil

4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Salt and pepper

 

In a glass measuring cup, add warm water, dissolve in honey then add yeast. Allow the yeast to feed and bubble. Pour into mixing bowl with dough hook.

Add flour, pepper, herbs, lastly add the salt.

Turn the mixer on and off to avoid a flour mess in the kitchen, then knead until the bowl is shiny, smooth  and the dough comes in a ball away from the sides of the bowl.

Drizzle olive oil in a large bowl to grease it and place the dough ball in. Cover with cellophane and put in a warm spot to proof.

Once doubled in size, remove from the bowl and divide dough into 3 balls.

Dust counter with flour and roll dough out until it is 1-1/2” thick. Long oval shape or round, you choose.

Place on a parchment-lined pan. Cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes until it is double the height. Use your fingers to dimple the dough.

Drizzle the dough with olive oil.

Toss assorted tomato in bowl with chopped basil, sliced red onion and olive oil. Place tomato on the top of the bread. Top with crumbled goat cheese and season with sea salt and pepper.

Bake in oven at 400 F for the first 10 minutes and turn down to 350 F to finish the baking process.

Pull out bread and allow to cool.

Enjoy on its own or with salad.