Still Life With Wooden Spoon

The Simplest of Starters
August 13, 2010, 10:38 am
Filed under: Starter | Tags: , , ,

I’m usually quite ambivalent about starters. I find doing individual plates of fiddly bits and pieces rather twee, and am a firm supporter of the mezze platter camp. Give me some little bowls of intensely flavoured olives and the like, with some bread to soak the sauce up, and I’m happy. So, with a somewhat special dinner planned, and a starter required, I turned to my favourite back up: foccacia.

I shared a pizza dough recipe on this blog before (link) – and this is the same dough I made up for this dinner. After the kneading, rising and knocking back, all that’s needed is to roll it out nice and thinly with a lick of olive oil, some garlic, herbs salt and pepper. In a blisteringly hot oven it puffs up rather marvellously and impressively, ready to be torn apart at the table.

When it’s not going to be used to soak up mezze sauces, I like to make a napoletana to have with my foccacia. It’s a trick I learned from Primi Piatti – of all places – when it first opened in Gateway (and was still decent). Making this sauce couldn’t be easier: sauté some garlic in a pan with a knob of butter and some olive oil. Add the tinned tomatoes, some tomato paste, and some chopped fresh rosemary. Once it’s all cooked down, you’ve got a rather simple, but altogether delicious napoletana.

So that’s it, starter sorted. A freshly baked foccacia, and piping hot napoletana for the dipping. Perfect for that “kinda-casual-but-I-still-need-to-impress-a-little-bit” occasion.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

bound to impress!

Comment by emme

Sounds like my kind of starter!

Comment by min

Mine too! Maybe you should replicate it sometime soon? (hint hint…)

Comment by Bridget McNulty

Well – I’m shortly going to be in one of the aforementioned “kinda-casual-but-I-still-need-to-impress-a-little-bit” occasions, so I may have to whip up something along these lines to rise to the occasion (if you’ll excuse the yeast-related pun).

Comment by chrisreidesq

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