buckwheat coca with caramelized onions, pumpkin and hazelnuts.

main dishes / recipes

To call “coca” in Mallorca to a dough which doesn´t have lard and in which part of the flour has been substituted by buckwheat must be almost a sacrilege. Besides, I also add cheese at the end, something which is not usual at all. Although in the end, is a very thin dough that consists of water, flour and fat and which has different ingredients on top. The focus of this recipe resides basically in offering a healthier alternative to the original one, as it replaces the butter with oil and part of the flour with buckwheat. Whatever you decide to put on the top is up to the imagination of everyone (with roasted fennel instead of pumpkin is simply delicious). You can also use it as a basis to cook a “quiche” or salty cake. I wouldn´t advise you to replace all the flour with the buckwheat, because its taste is very strong and the dough would be extremely difficult to work with.

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I don´t know if you are familiar with the buckwheat and if you already know that it doesn´t belong to the wheat family, but to the rhubarb one. It is considered a pseudo-cereal (like the quinoa or the amaranth) because it doesn´t belong to the pulses. It doesn´t have gluten and contains a high level of protein, besides having all the essential aminoacids and be able to satisfy fully because of the fiber it contains, what helps to maintain a balanced glucose level in blood. It also helps to low the cholesterol levels because it stimulates the blood circulation, helping to neutralize the toxic wastes of our body. It is perfect for the winter because of its huge calorific value (hence the Siberian origin). The grains can be toasted (kasha in Russian) and they transform themselves into one of the few cereals with alkalizing power.

I must recognize that I haven´t practiced too much with this grain in the kitchen, and that I only use it in flour (in salty or sweet dishes) or germinating it to make granola. My first contact with it was when I tried the typical French crepes for the first time. They have a roasted flavour, slightly bitter, which can be perfectly balanced with anything salty…and also with the cider, which is an authentic vice (because it tastes like apple juice, what makes it a real danger!) and it is not as acid as the Asturian cider.

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I advise you to buy the whole grain and grind it immediately, so you can be sure of its freshness. The cereals, spices, nuts or seeds oxidize very easily, losing nutritional properties and taste. For example, this is especially important with the flax or sesame seeds that should be ground in small amounts right away and kept in the fridge. I would advise you to buy a coffee grinder (they are very cheap!) and use it only for spices or in this case to grind the buckwheat (not for the coffee as it would transfer its flavour to the rest of the ingredients). If you want to cook it as rice, I would recommend toasting it slightly in a pan and adding the double of hot water (or hot broth). This last thing is very important so the grain will be loose. Add it to any vegetables sauté.

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There are three different steps in this recipe I propose today. Don´t let this stop you. If you do everything in an organized and coordinated way it won´t take that long and you can get it ready in advance and heat it just in the last moment. The candied onion and the pumpkin can also be prepared the day before. On the other hand, it is better to make the dough, stretch it and cook it right away. It is perfect to bring to a meal with friends and to prepare it there at that very moment: bring the cooked dough, the candied onion and the roasted pumpkin, the toasted hazelnuts, the cut cheese and the arugula or mezclum. Inform your friends that they must have the oven hot and ready for you. Once you are there, you can prepare it in less than 5 minutes. You will only have time to pour a wine glass and say hello to the people and by then, the “coca” will be ready in the oven. When you take it out, put the salad and the balsamic vinegar over the top and that´s it! I would advise you to use a goat cheese with a powerful flavour to counteract the sweetness of the onion and the pumpkin.

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the sweetness of the onion and the pumpkin.

And a very important thing when buying balsamic vinegar: please, check the label! Make sure that it doesn´t have neither colorants nor artificial caramel  …

Ingredients

coca" dough:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

125 gr of whole spelt flour

125 gr of buckwheat flour

125 gr of water

75 gr of olive oil

5 gr (1 tsp) of salt

1 1/2 tbsp of apple vinegar

3 grams (1 tbsp) of freshly chopped rosemary

roasted pumpkin:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

600 gr of peeled pumpkin

4 tbsp of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic with the skin

1/2 tsp of salt

pepper and oregano as you like

candied onion::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

2 big onions (550 grams)

15 gr of coconut or olive oil

15 gr of white wine or rice wine.

2 chopped cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of soya sauce

2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

30 grams of hazelnuts

goat cheese (feta like) as you like

arugula or mezclum leaves

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in slices of 5mm thickness with a knife or a mandolin slicer . Put it in an oven tray and mix it with the oil, the garlics, the salt, the pepper and the oregano. bake it for about 30 minutes, turn it halfway the cooking.
  3. In the meantime, start preparing the "coca" dough. Put in a bowl the mixture of flours, the salt and the rosemary. In the other one, the water, the oil and the vinegar. Pour this last one in the bowl with the flour and knead during 3 minutes till you get a homogenous dough. If you see that the dough is very sticky after kneading it, you can throw one spoonful more of spelt flour. Let it stand for about 5 minutes.
  4. Cut the onion in thin slices and stir fry in oil for 5 minutes. Add the garlics and cook it covered on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring it well from time to time. Add the wine, the soya and the balsamic vinegar and keep cooking for 10 minutes more.
  5. In the meantime, stretch the "coca" dough, place it over an oven tray with parchment paper and poke it with a fork. When you take out the pumpkin, place the "coca" into the oven and low the heat to 180ºC, cook for about 30 minutes and turn it halfway the cooking. Toast the hazelnuts a little. Let everything cool down if you are not going to eat it right away.
  6. To prepare the "coca" before serving it, distribute the onion in a thin layer, the pumpkin, the cheese and the hazelnuts. Bake to 200ºC for 10 minutes or until you see that it is hot and the cheese has started to melt.
  7. Once outside, distribute the arugula over it and add a little of balsamic vinegar on the top.
  8. Enjoy!

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