La Noche de San Juan; the magical night of bonfires on the beach when the Spanish celebrate the start of summer with family & friends and plenty of food & drink culminating in jumping over the fire to bring luck for the coming year before running into the sea at midnight to wash away evil spirits. It is a night to experience so why not try this recipe to take to the beach party and join in with the tradition.
Flat bread with eggplant, red peppers and sardines
For the Dough
500 gr plain flour
pinch of salt
30 gr fresh yeast
250 ml tepid water
60 ml Spanish extra virgin olive oil
For the Topping
2 red peppers
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 tomatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tin of sardines in olive oil, drained
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, to this add yeast and water and then work the ingredients together. Flour a large board liberally to avoid sticking, and place the dough onto it. Knead well for about 20 minutes in order to activate the yeast in the flour. Then leave the kneaded dough in a warm place to rise for about 3 hours.
When risen add the olive oil and work the dough again. Leave to rest for another 30 minutes. During this time prepare the topping (you can use any toppings that you like) Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Arrange the red peppers and eggplant on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until soft. When ready, remove from the oven and leave covered for 20 minutes, before slicing into strips.
Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface, the consistency should be stretchy and elastic. Roll out quite thinly to about the shape of a baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and trim off any excess. Place the onion slices, diced tomatoes, eggplant and red pepper strips on top. Drizzle with more olive oil and bake in the oven at the same temperature for around 20 minutes then arrange the sardines on top and cook for a further 10 minutes.
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