My job was rained out today and yesterday, which hasn't happened for months. Although it's pretty early in the fall to start having rain or snow days, I can't say I don't love the idea of a surprise four-day weekend :)
Since I knew I'd have some time on my hands, I decided to bake bread. I also have a beautiful sage plant in the garden, so this focaccia recipe from Lynne Rosetto Kasper's The Italian Country Table looked like a good idea. The recipe calls for 30 fresh sage leaves, fried to a light crisp in olive oil, and topping the bread along with mushrooms and garlic.
I've made focaccia a couple of times before, but this was my favorite. It might be because of the accidental mix of flours - using what I had on hand in half-empty bags, this contains whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, and spelt flour. This was absolutely delicious, especially straight out of the oven, and accompanied with Kasper's recommendation of a little red wine. If only every day was a day off.
I'll steal a paragraph from Lynne to close out - she has a wonderful way of presenting food in a cultural context that somehow makes the results even more enjoyable:
"So what is focaccia? In my Italian dictionary, similar words reveal an intriguing pattern. Focolaio means focus, hotbed, center of all. Focolare is hearth, fireplace, home and focus. In Italy, they say, "I return to my hearth," when telling of going back home. The word focaccia can embrace all low breads and tarts, leavened or unleavened, that are baked on a griddle like a pancake, baked in shallow pans buried in embers on the hearth or baked in the oven."
- from The Italian Country Table, by Lynne Rosetto Kasper