Coca {Spanish Flatbread}

29683249452_41df090c9d_nSo I know Thanksgiving is in a week (eek!) so a normal blogger would be sharing something  turkey-related, but I promised you guys some quick weeknight meal ideas, and I’m really excited to tell you about this one.

I hesitate to call this one “quick” when it involved caramelized onions. If you’ve ever caramelized onions, you know it’s not quick.

But even with that, this meal comes together surprisingly fast and most of all, it’s easy. Like, super easy. Oh, did I mention it’s totally delicious? It is.

I had never heard of coca. In fact, if you google “coca,” (at least in the U.S) Google tries to give you results for “Coca Cola.” But last year when we had Little Man’s spy party, I was trying to come up with a food for each city we “visited” and I came across coca when I searched popular foods of Barcelona.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this recipe. It’s a flatbread with different types of toppings, but no cheese. NO CHEESE?! If you know me at all, you know I’ve never shied away from cheese in my life. The cheese drawer in my fridge is always full. Always.

So I figured it would be a fun “cultural experience” kind of food, but I never dreamed it would become part of our regular rotation. That is, until I tasted it. It’s addictingly good. And it’s all because of these beautiful caramelized onions. They’re so rich, you don’t even notice there’s no cheese. And I’m talking as a serious cheese fanatic.

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So here’s the fastest way to make this. I’m not going to claim that this is a super authentic recipe. I have never been to Barcelona. I’ve never had authentic coca. But I’ll tell you that this recipe is easy and delicious, even if I use pre-made pizza dough. Shh. Don’t tell.

First, slice your onion. The photo above is 2 onions, but you only need one for this recipe, and it’ll cook faster if you only use one. If you do this ahead of time, you can have your dinner ready in 20 minutes or less. Make up a huge batch of caramelized onions and then portion them out and freeze for later.

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I like to use a little bit of both butter and olive oil for my caramelized onions, but you can use either. A tablespoon of each is what I used. Heat them up over medium-low heat. When your butter & oil are hot, put your onions in the pan, add a little salt, and cover. Covering them will make them go faster. The nice thing about caramelizing onions is that you can kinda sorta forget about them. Stir them every 15 minutes or so, until they’re beautiful like the ones you see above. It’ll probably take about 40 minutes, but you can start this as soon as you get home from work, then go change into your sweats and catch up on Facebook, or whatever you like to do.

Make sure you check your pizza dough to find out how long you need it out of the fridge before using it. I use the Trader Joe’s brand, and it needs about 20 minutes to warm up. It works really well in this recipe. I’ve not tried it with the type that comes in a can that you roll out. And I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will. You can in fact, make your own. If you make it the day before and stash it in the fridge, it’ll be great for the next day.

When you take your pizza dough out to warm, heat up your oven to 450°.

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So after you’ve changed and whatever, chop up a handful of mushrooms. You want a couple of cups of chopped mushrooms.

Also chop up a couple of cups of spinach. Heat up some oil in a pan, and throw the mushrooms in there. Stir until they’ve browned. Season with salt and pepper and then add the spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts, then set aside.

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Next, you need to prep your dough. Coca is often shaped in elongated ovals, sort of slipper-shaped. I use a pizza stone to cook mine, which I highly recommend. If, however, you don’t have a pizza stone, you can put these on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. If you have a pizza stone, put these on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (or a flat-edged cookie sheet like I have.)

I divided my pizza dough into 2, but traditional coca is a bit thinner than that, so I could probably have done it in 3. I just stretched mine with my hands, but you can roll it out as well.

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Drizzle your dough with a little extra virgin olive oil, then spread the onions over it.

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It looks so good already.

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Top this with your spinach and mushrooms. I added a sprinkle of salt, but it didn’t need it since I salted the toppings while I cooked them.

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Throw these in your hot hot oven, by either sliding them onto the pizza stone (if you have one) or putting your parchment-lined cookie sheet into the oven.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until your crust has gotten a lovely golden brown. This time may vary depending on your oven, so check a little before.

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Guys, these are so delicious.

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I’m pretty sure I could eat one entire coca myself in one sitting. I haven’t yet, but I make no promises for the future.

My whole family likes this, guys. Hubs, who is big on meat and cheese, as well as my sometimes-picky 6 year old and my mostly-eats-anything 2.5 year old. They all eat this until it’s gone.

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I’ve also made these with different toppings, like seeded, thinly-sliced tomatoes. You can add peppers, pancetta or bacon, anchovies and pine nuts– whatever kind of toppings sound great to you. Just make sure you always use the caramelized onions and it’ll be delicious. It’s also easy to make totally vegan if you skip the butter in the onions and use vegan dough. Any way you top it, these beauties are delicious and easy, and perfect for a weeknight meal. These would also be perfect as an appetizer for a party. Maybe even Thanksgiving!

Coca

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

29683249452_41df090c9d_cIngredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • Olive Oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1.5-2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • Raw Pizza Dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • Cornmeal for dusting pizza peel, if using.

1.) Start the onions caramelizing first. Heat butter and 1 TBSP olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with a little salt, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir every 10-15 minutes for 30-45 minutes, or until onions are translucent and have turned golden brown.
2.) While the onions are cooking, remove pizza dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature (according to package directions if using store-bought dough.)
3.) Preheat oven to 450°. If using a pizza stone, be sure it’s placed into the oven at this time.
4.) Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in another skillet, and add mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms until they begin to turn brown, then add salt and pepper to taste and chopped spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, then remove from heat.
5.) When pizza dough is workable, divide into 2-3 portions and stretch or roll into long ovals. Place dough on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, or cookie sheet lined with parchment.
6.) Drizzle dough with a little olive oil, then top with onions, then the mushrooms & spinach.
7.) Slide coca onto pizza stone (if using) or place parchment-lined cookie sheet into oven. Bake about 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

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