Coca de recapte isa Catalan specialty similar to pizza without the cheese, and it can be easily tweaked to individual taste
Photo: Desiree Alegre
A Catalan recipe to try in Luxembourg
In “My taste of home”, Luxembourg expats contribute recipes from their home countries, but with a twist: they are challenged to use a local, seasonal ingredient.
Wondering what to do with those extra garden vegetables? Desiree Alegre suggests coca de recapte, a Catalan specialty that can be served for lunch, dinner or even as a snack, often accompanied by a salad.
It’s similar to pizza, without the cheese, and it can be tweaked to individual preferences (Desiree proposes, for example, adding herring or botifarra, a type of Catalan sausage).
Desiree’s love for cooking first began when she was a toddler. “I was a picky eater, so my parents would sometimes let me help with the preparations in hopes that I would then eat the final product,” she says.
Her early interest in cooking was easy to foster too: her father’s a professional cook who has spent his entire career in gastronomy.
Originally from Badalona (just next to Barcelona), Spain, Desiree moved to Luxembourg in 2012 and has always been an avid traveller. “While living in Spain, cooking was a way to recreate things I had while travelling,” she says, adding: “Once I moved abroad, it was a way to still have the tastes of home.”
For Desiree, Luxembourg affords unique culinary opportunities. “Thanks to its international community, there’s easy access to an array of ingredients from different countries, and you can ‘travel’ to exotic destinations through cooking.”
This Catalan specialty goes well with a light salad. Photo: Desiree Alegre
Coca de recapte
For the dough
150 g white flour
250 g spelt flour
10 g fresh yeast (or about 3 g [half packet] of dry yeast)
8 g salt
50-75 ml warm water
10 ml olive oil
For the garnish
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 can of sardines (sardine filets also work)
½ carmelised onion
black and green olives
Preheat oven to 200° C.
Roast whole aubergine and peppers for 40-50 minutes until skins are partially brown and they are cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare the dough: mix the two flours, salt and yeast. Slowly add the water a bit at a time until the dough begins to come together. It may appear loose or formless, but that is fine. Knead for 3-5 minutes, form a ball and place it in a deep bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for about an hour.
After the hour is up, add oil to the dough mixture, kneading so it is well integrated. Leave the dough to stand again for at least 20 minutes.
To carmelise the onions: finely slice ½ an onion and heat oil over medium heat. Add onion slices. After about 5 minutes they will become a bit translucent. Add a dash of salt, reduce heat to low and cook another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.
Once the vegetables are done, remove from oven and let cool. Peel them, remove the seeds and cut into strips.
Increase oven heat to 220° C.
On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough until it is about ½ cm thick, giving it the shape you prefer (round, square, boat-shaped, etc.)
Top with the garnish: roasted vegetables, carmelised onion, sardines, tomatoes and olives. Finish with a dash of olive oil on top.
Place in oven for 10-12 minutes. When it is done, sprinkle with a bit of dry basil.