I mentioned that we had a Meditteranean coca with our controversial tuna and cinnamon meatballs. It turned out so wonderfully and was such a pleasant surprise that I have decided to share the recipe here.
The recipe is from another of our many (and favorite) cookbooks, Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark, the husband and wife team behind the acclaimed Moro Restaurant in London, known for its award-winning Moorish cuisine. Traveling and books play a vital role in their menus and I love that they often read about a dish in a book, and then travel to that particular country to find someone to show them how to make it. I want to do that.
Moro East follows a year that the couple spent on their first allotment at Manor Garden. I wasn’t exactly sure what an allotment was so I did a little research and here’s what I found out about the Manor Garden Allotments.
They were established in 1900 by philanthropist Arthur Villiers to provide small parcels of land for deprived locals to grow vegetables and occupied 4.5 acres between the River Lea and the Channelsea River in Hackney Wick, East London. In keeping with conditions of Villiers’ bequeath that the allotments be maintained in perpetuity, the 80 individual plots have been tended for over a century by a tight-knit and diverse multicultural community of Londoners.
Here is a video I found on youtube in which the Clarks talk about their allotment experience.
The saddest part? The Manor Garden Allotments were demolished in October 2007 to make way for landscaping for the 2012 London Olympics Park. The good news? The allotments will be reinstated on the original site once the Olympics are over.
Now, on to the coca.
Coca is pizza from the Catalonia region of Spain. It is thin, crisp, chewy and amazing. There are many variations of coca – I made the onion, red pepper and eggplant version. Flatbread dough is used as the base. Although I have included the Clarks’ recipe, I made a few small changes.
1) I substituted all-purpose flour for bread flour. This seemed to work just fine.
2) I did not knead the flatbread dough by hand. I used the dough hook and our awesome Kitchen-Aid stand mixer.
3) I changed the word aubergine to eggplant. OK, not such a big change. I just brought that aubergine across the pond.
4) I used less olive oil than what the recipe calls for.