Time to face the music. I think summer is just about over. If not only going by what my calendar says, mother nature is giving some clear signs for cooler climates. I just "harvested" the last of my cherry tomatoes for one final summer recipe.
Let's talk about tomatoes for a second. Now you might think since I can cook, bake, paint, etc- that I am all-around pretty crafty. Well, this is probably true for the most past- but a gardener, I am not. No green thumbs for this girl. However, this is first season where I actually was able to grow something edible. I could not be prouder. Every other time that I tried to have a garden, everything died. I've mostly only tried herbs and strawberries, but none were ever sustainable. I'd like to blame this on the Sacramento heat, but I am sure I had a lot to do with it. About halfway into this summer, I bought myself a beautiful, little tomato plant for our pint-sized patio. Luckily, this plant already had a few flowers blooming, which would later turn into juicy little gems. I finally kept a plant alive long enough to produce something to use in an actual recipe. That said recipe is this savory herb and tomato focaccia.
Speaking of things that I am not very skilled at, I have not had a lot of experience with baking bread. As of now, I am 1 for 2 in terms of successful bread-baking experiences. Well, I'll give myself a 1/2 point for my first try- I mean, it was edible and looked like bread, even if it did not taste very good. I decided to give it a second go around, this time with focaccia. With this focaccia, there is not too much kneading or rising involved, so I figured I could not ruin it too badly. The whole process was fairly quick and surprisingly easy. So on a rainy day last week, a preview of what the weather will soon look like here, I decided to bake and break bread.
As mentioned, this focaccia was built around my proud tomato harvest. These home-grown cherry tomatoes were so sweet and juicy, perfectly enjoyable straight from the vine. I decided to throw on some caramelized onion and garlic, with a sprinkle of rosemary, fresh basil, and chunky sea salt. The flavors perfectly balanced each other. Notice that I did not use too much of any of the other "toppings," as I really wanted the bread to shine. Really it would have been scarfed down just as quickly had I left it plain. With the recipe being so simple, I don't think I will ever go back to store-bought focaccia after this life-altering bread experience. And eating it warm? Get out of here! There's no comparison.
Recipe adapted from Cookin' Canuck