Posts Tagged ‘fresh basil’

As you may have noticed, I am often swayed by the recipes of my blogging friends. And this time is no different, because I fell for Sawsan of Chef in Disguise’s Fteer falahi (Cheese and anise flat bread). I had feta at home and fresh basil, so I thought I would use them (plus JT is not a huge anise fan). I had a little extra pot of the Titanic Pâté for our Sunday dinner with nephew Brian and the flat bread went very well with it.

These flat breads are soft but firm enough to hold a heavier spread, like the Titanic Pâté. Cheers!

I made only half the recipe Sawsan made because we are not huge bread eaters, and it made a lot of dough, so I froze half as raw dough and will be using it in the future. I liked the over all texture, but I did make a mistake, I didn’t brush it with oil at every fold (trying to keep the calories down). It turned out a little harder and not as chewy as I had hoped, but the flavour was certainly there. When I make the frozen batch, I will be certain to use the oil that Sawsan’s recipe recommended. As well, Sawsan recommended that I leave my dough a little thicker so it’s chewier. I can see this recipe being used for many a dips in the near future. Thank you Sawsan, you have inspired me yet again.


Makes 2 12″ flat bread squares


  • 0.5 kg all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I left this as the full recipe, JT said my bread was not salty enough!)
  • water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of sheeps milk feta cut into small 1 cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup of chiffonade of basil


  1. In a 1/8 cup of warm water dissolve the yeast and sugar (make sure your yeast is alive!)
  2. Sift the flour and salt into your large stand mixer bowl, add the yeast/water mixture and start kneading adding water gradually till you get a soft sticky dough consistency (I added a little over 1 cup of water but the amount varies with the type of flour)
  3. Machine knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, allow to rest , covered in a warm place for half an hour (I kneaded 7 minutes).
  4. Preheat your oven to 270°C or the highest temperature it will go.
  5. Gently combine the vegetable oil and olive oil and keep it next to your working area.
  6. Wet your hands with a little oil and cut the dough into 4 balls , brush each ball in the oil mixture and allow to rest for another 10-15 minutes. (don’t skimp on the oil)
  7. Brush your working surface with a little oil, start with the first dough ball you cut and spread it into a circle roughly 25 cm or 10 inches in diameter. Sawsan has some great photos on how to fold the dough, please visit her post here.
  8. Spread your filling onto the pressed dough and begin folding, much like a croissant dough, folding the left third over the centre, then the right over the centre, then the bottom fold up one third and finally fold the top down one third. You should have a nice folded smallish square. Allow this one to rest while you start working on the next one.
  9. When you have finished all of the dough balls, go back to the first square and brush it with oil and spread it into a larger square using a rolling-pin or your hands. Then do the same with the rest.
  10. I like using my cast iron pizza pan for this type of bread and I always pre heat it. using a rolling pin, roll up the dough and carefully roll out to the heated pizza pan. Drizzle more oil on it.
  11. Bake on the middle rack of your oven. Sawsan cautions to watch it carefully as it will burn very quickly.

Thanks again, Sawsan, this one will have a repeat performance in our repertoire, it is indeed a very easy flat bread to make. Next time, I shall substitute some of the white flour for whole wheat, just because 😉

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My biggest pet peeve is seeing a raw tomato on a menu when it is clearly not in season. Tomatoes not in season are mealy, have little taste and just plain old bad. Why, why, why would you do it? Having said that, one of my most favourites is the Insalata Caprese. Our new hot spot restaurant in Toronto (Bar Mercurio) has by far, one of the best Insalata Caprese I have ever tasted and I am not kidding. And this salad is consistently amazing, whether the humble tomato is in season or not! Dare I share their secret?

Oven Roasted Tomatoes. There I said it. Slow roasting your sliced tomatoes over a long period of time will bring out the sugars and caramelize this lovely fruit to a point where it really doesn’t matter what it tastes like raw! Paired with some fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, a little spicy arugula and drizzled with EVOO and good quality aged balsamic…well, I have died and gone to heaven!

Oven Roasted Tomatoes


  • 5-8 medium Roma tomatoes, washed and sliced about 1cm thick
  • sea salt to taste
  • paper towel to dry off tomatoes
  • non-stock spray, such as Pam
  • cookie sheet with a  cooling rack installed on it so there is about 1 cm to 2cm between it and the cookie sheet
  • parchment paper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200°F
  2. Line the cookie sheet with parchment.
  3. Install the cooling rack onto the cookie sheet.
  4. Spray the cooling rack with the non-stick spray.
  5. Dry each tomato slice, both sides.
  6. Place the tomato slices on the rack so that they are not touching.
  7. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  8. Bake for 3-4 hours or until the edges become caramelized. You may wish to flip the tomatoes half way during the baking period.
  9. Serve warm or cold.

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