Summer Focaccia with Tomatoes, Sardines & Olives
In this article, we’ll tell you why is Cahors Malbec wine a good match with Tomatoes-based dishes and we proove it with a step-by-step recipe and a wine recommandation that will rock your summer !
Oh, Sunny Days 🍅
No other fruit represents sunny days, warm nights, and the sweet life of summer better than tomatoes. At the market, summer tomatoes come in various shapes, sizes, and even colors. They seduce our eyes with their beautiful reds, sunny yellows, and generously rounded forms, and please our palates with their refreshingly juicy and sweet pulp. The seedy fruit develops its divine aromas under the hot summer sun only, and pale winter tomatoes from glasshouses simply can’t compare in aroma nor texture.
The golden rule for pairing wine with tomatoes
Although raw tomatoes are often said to be too acidic to pair with wine, the ripeness level and the chosen preparation method play a major role in turning tomatoes into palate-friendly wine pairings. Once again, heat will make a difference.
Tomatoes meet Cahors Malbec 🍷
In fact, Cahors Malbec and ripe summer tomatoes have many things in common: juicy fruitiness, a pulpy texture, balanced sugar, and acidity levels, mellow herbal notes, a soft tannic structure, and, most importantly, generous umami flavor. Umami, known as the 5th taste dimension in Japanese cuisine, can be described as a vertical aromatic depth, created by abundantly savory-salty or savory-sweet flavors that intensify a taste experience.
Always Go for Juicy, Ripe Tomatoes
Botanically classified as a berry and therefore categorized as a fruit, tomatoes are commonly used as a vegetable, due to the hearty umami flavors. The longer they ripen on the vine in the summer heat, the more intense these umami flavors become. A carpaccio, made from very ripe summer tomatoes, topped with nothing but a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and black pepper, is a great example to understand how savory this fruit can taste in its original state.
Slow-cooking at its finest
However, cooking will concentrate the umami taste even further. Slow roasting or braising are the best techniques to gently dehydrate the tomato, caramelize the sugars, concentrate and enhance the aromas, and ultimately turn tomatoes into intensely savory and herbal-sweet bites of goodness.
Braised tomato, roasted tomato, tomato confit, half-dried tomato, or dried tomato: as long as they aren’t marinated in vinegar or salty brines, cooked tomatoes are all fantastic pairings with the pure, fruit-driven expressions of young AOC Cahors wines.
Load up on aromatics and don’t forget the wine !
By seasoning your tomato recipes with mediterranean herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, you can add yet another aromatic link between the dish and Cahors wines, which often develop herbal, ethereal notes as they begin aging after 2 or 3 years in the bottle.
Serving full-flavored, roasted, or braised tomatoes alongside grilled or pan-seared red meats, you may even choose Cahors wines that have aged in oak barrels for short period, and provide a slightly stronger tannic structure and more complexity, all while remaining fruity and soft in texture.
Summer Focaccia with Tomatoes, Sardines & Olives | A step-by-step Recipe
Take your savoury baking to the next level with this fresh mediterranean focaccia. If you love a good bread starter that is also gorgeous to serve, this recipe is for you! It’s easy and always perfect with a glass of Cahors Malbec. Chek out the step-by-step recipe as well as the wine recommandation below 👇
Serve it hot, cold, or at room temp, for any meal of the day.
Ingredients for 4-6 portions:
- 400 g white bread flour (T65
- 100 g fine ground semolina flour
- 18 g fresh yeast
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 300 g lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- + more olive oil to finish
- 450 g cherry tomatoes
- 4 twigs fresh rosemary
- 1 can of high-quality sardines in olive oil
- 40 g black olives, pitted
- Fleur de Sel
- Freshly ground pepper
- Mix the white bread flour and the semolina flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and crumble the fresh yeast into the well. Add the pinch of sugar and the lukewarm in the well, then stir gently with a fork until yeast, sugar, and water have combined. Leave the mixture for about 10 – 12 minutes until you can see a bunch of fermentation bubbles rise to the top.
- Mix the foaming mixture in the well with the rest of the flour using a fork. Once a dough starts forming, add two tablespoons of olive oil and continue kneading steadily and vigorously with your hands for 5 to 7 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough in your hands. Alternatively, you can knead the dough in a kitchen machine at medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
- Rub the sides of a clean bowl with a few drops of olive oil, then place the dough ball in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes in a warm corner of your kitchen (at around 30 degrees Celsius), until the dough has doubled in volume.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly dust the proven dough with flour and gently pull and stretch it with your hands to the size of the baking tray. Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil, gently rub the oil all over the surface of the dough, then mark a bunch of wells using all of your fingertips. Cover again with the tea towel and let it prove for another 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Wash and dry the tomatoes, cut them in halves. Pick the rosemary leaves. Drain the sardines from the oil, remove excess oil with a paper towel. Slice the pitted olives.
- Garnish the dough with the tomato halves, pressing the rounded side of the tomato halves into the dough, then spread the sardines, olives, and rosemary leaves evenly. Finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil all over the focaccia, then sprinkle the salt flakes on top. Bake at 180°C for around 30 minutes until the tomatoes are half-dried and the focaccia is slightly golden on top.
A youthful, abundantly fruity Cahors wine from a recent vintage, vinified in stainless steel tanks, will match the soft, chewy texture of the focaccia, the sweet tomatoes, and the oiliness of the sardines.
© Stefanie Köhler, Gouttes & goûts