Sometimes things turn out even better than expected! Last night I made a focaccia, six sandwich buns, and my “experimental loaf”, which came out exceptionally well. When I make bread, I make slightly more dough than I need, and then experiment with the extra piece in a tiny bread pan that is meant to be used in a toaster oven. So far, so good, but if there is a failure, not much is lost. The worst that can happen is that I have fodder to make breadcrumbs! ;->
It went really well with the spaghetti and meat sauce. I have been buying organic meat from local ranches, and, combined with a half-pound of mushrooms, copious sweet onions, one-half pound of the ground beef, and not quite a whole jar of Classico Spicy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce, made about five good-sized servings, slightly larger servings than you see on my plate.
I’ve switched from Mozzarella as the only cheese for Italian dishes to using Provolone much of the time. The flavor is more robust, and it’s easier to grate. The “meltiness” factor is a bit different, though, so if you like long strings of cheese, these strings will be a bit less . . . well, less “stringy”.
The veggie is rainbow chard, which was a delightful accompaniment. Just a little crunch on the stalk parts, and the greens were divine! Perfection!
You can see in the background a bag of oranges that came from the farmers market, too. I just squeezed a few of them (yes, by hand!), and DH and I enjoyed a few sips before breakfast.
The plain focaccia is just behind and to the right of the pesto bread. As different needs arise, I can slice this into strips, lightly toast them, et voilá – breadsticks! If I intend to spread avocado on the strips, I can slice them a bit thicker. If a sandwich holder is required, I can slice off an appropriate shape.
Need a quick pizza? Smear a little of the tomato pesto on a wedge, add cheese, and a sprinkle of oregano, and toast just a bit under a broiler. If you have a few bits of leftover veggies that will fit on the pizza slice, now is the time to enjoy them – extra credit for extra nutrition.
A light film of olive oil or butter, a sprinkle of Italian herbs, and a few shreds of Parmesan or Romano, and you have the perfect accompaniment to brighten up just about any meal. The focaccia is very versatile.
If you have oddly-shaped bits leftover, just toast up any shape, and enjoy as you would crackers with a steaming bowl of soup.
I love being able to do things ad hoc – keeps my creative juices on the move! ;->