Gluten-Free Olive Herb Focaccia Flatbread Recipe

May 18th, 2008 yum Posted in Bette Hagman, Bread, Flatbread, Mediterranean, herbs 15 Comments »

olivefocaccia.jpgI don’t know about you, but every time I see a bakery stand at the Farmer’s Market, or the bakery section of a gourmet grocery store, and see some beautiful herb-encrusted flatbread, I can’t help but get a little jealous. Bread can seem a little boring when it’s just plain, unflavored bread- oh, still yummy, but it doesn’t necessarily have the flavor kick to stand on its own as a meal. (I do love me a good vegetarian sandwich, though… with hummus, fresh basil, tomatoes and sprouts, maybe some cheese if I’m doing dairy- oh so good.) So that’s why I was inspired to create this olive herb flatbread for a recent gluten-free support group get-together. We have members with multiple allergies, so I made the recipe as allergen-friendly as possible, with no soy, dairy, eggs, bean flour, or nuts involved. I was inspired jointly by a Bette Hagman recipe in her “Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy” and a recipe for olive herb flatbread in my The Best 50 Olive Recipes (Best 50) cookbook. Basically, the balance of flour to liquid is the only thing similar to the Bette Hagman recipe, but it was helpful and I’m sure the original recipe (with rice and tapioca starch and seasoned with fennel and onion) would be good as well. However, for my creation I wanted a more healthful flour blend with some help from one of my favorite whole-grain gluten-free flours, teff. According to one online source, teff “contains 11% protein, 80% complex carbohydrate and 3% fat. It is an excellent source of essential amino acids, especially lysine, the amino acid that is most often deficient in grain foods. Teff contains more lysine than barley, millet, and wheat and slightly less than rice or oats. Teff is also an excellent source of fiber and iron, and has many times the amount of calcium, potassium and other essential minerals found in an equal amount of other grains.” These researchers were not well versed on the gluten-free diet, but uncontaminated, gluten-free teff flour can be found through Bob’s Red Mill or The Teff Company. I like teff for the whole-grain nutty brown flour flavor it imparts to baked goods, as well as its high fiber and protein, but I think it works best combined with other flours as it is in this recipe. So, why not give this fancy flatbread recipe a try, and see how you like it. Or, better yet, come up with your own fancy flavor combination, test it out, and tell me all about it in the comments? :)

Want more whole grain bread recipes?
Try Adeena’s Gluten-Free Rosemary Teff Dinner Roll Recipe
or my South American Socca Recipe
or this Apple Onion Fetta Socca Recipe
Or my Allergen-free Buckwheat Crepe Recipe

BytheBay also has a lovely recipe for Gluten-Free Kalamata Olive Rosemary Artisan Bread that looks very promising.

Got any other favorites? Share in the comments!
*Note- I was making other pizzas in the oven at the same time and the oven door was something of a revolving door, so the bread sank a little. However, it tasted great and the texture was very good, so I think it should be fine as long as you don’t overproof it and don’t open the oven while it’s baking!*

Soy-Free Dairy-Free Egg-Free Nut-Free Vegan Gluten Free Olive Herbed Focaccia Recipe
2 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 ener-g foods egg replacer egg or 1 real egg if desired
1 tbsp. high quality olive oil
scant 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives (use 1/2 cup in the dough, the rest for garnishing to taste)
1 tbsp. fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt or black salt
Prepare a jelly roll pan by spraying it with non stick cooking spray or oiling it with olive oil and using parchment paper.

Combine sugar with water, add yeast. Combine dry ingredients (up to salt) in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your kitchenaid mixer, combine the “egg” with the olive oil. Add your proofed yeast water. Mix and then add your dry ingredients to your mixer, including 1/2 cup of your olives if you haven’t added them already. beating on high for two minutes. Pour into the prepared pan, spread it with a frosting knife, and add any additional fresh herb sprigs, chopped olives, and salt to the top. Baste with a little more olive oil.

Cover and let rise for 40 minutes or so, while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes and tear off pieces to enjoy with high quality olive oil, or on their own.

This flatbread was very good. It did deflate a little after rising, perhaps due to the egg replacer egg. Still- Yummy! I’ve always wanted to make an olive flatbread like this.

The olive seasonings idea came from a little book called “The Best 50 Olive Recipes.”

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Gluten Free Support Groups and Potlucks: A Gluten Free Mediterranean Menu and Recipes

August 10th, 2007 yum Posted in Dinner Party, GF Support Groups, Mediterranean, Party Menu, Vegetarian 2 Comments »


This month I hosted our local Celiac Bay Area Support Group potluck at my apartment clubhouse. Although our branch of the SFBay Celiac Support Group is fairly new, we’ve formed a cohesive little community around our interest in gluten free foods and the gluten free lifestyle. We are in the process of establishing a web site resource for San Francisco Celiacs as well as considering strategies for gluten free Bay area restaurant education. We are all quite jealous of the glorious gluten free food scene in New York, enriched as it is by Risotteria and Babycakes bakery, among many others. Anyway, I will keep you updated as our Support Group resourses are developed! Our potluck food themes have included Italian food, The Foods of Asia, and now our most recent dinner was all about delicious, Mediterranean food. The Menu?

Appetizer: DH Grilled Artichokes with Dip
K’s Veggies and Chips with hummus and dip
Salad: V’s Greek Salad with Feta and Dressing on the Side
Entrée: Sea Vegetarian Risotto with shallot marinated grilled crimini and portabella mushrooms. (recipes below)
Entrée: E’s Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh
Protein Entrée: K’s Turkish Moussaka
Bread: Sea Bette Hagman’s French Bread
Beverages: L#1 Wine
Dessert: L#2 Fresh Fruit with cream
Sea Homemade Ice Cream- Vanilla, Banana

*note: my compatriots have been transformed into letters of the alphabet to protect their super secret identities. Are the letters random? Who knows… Do any of you know what Q’s name stands for in 007???*

We are a group that just loves delicious food, obviously. Of course I can’t refrain from making enough food for an army, no matter what size the gathering. DH grilled some of his delicious artichokes and I prepared a scrumptious fresh herb dip to accompany it. I also made vegetarian red onion risotto in both a dairy and dairy free incarnation. Because risotto just isn’t complete without yummy mushrooms garnishing it, I whipped up an original recipe for Shallot marinated grilled crimini and portabella mushrooms. I made my classic party food item- Bette Hagman’s rapid rise french bread, found in her book, More from the Gluten free Gourmet. After all, every gluten free party should have some killer gluten free bread.. And then because DH and I have been eying our unused ice cream maker a lot lately and thinking that we really OUGHT to do something with it, we also made an egg free vanilla and banana ice cream recipe. Too much? Probably, but it was fun and there was enough risotto to send almost everyone off with a little dinner portion to take home and still leave us with enough for some risotto cakes. But there were quite a few gourmet chefs at this gluten free gathering of ours. V’s Greek salad was delicious, and prepared just the way I like it with a wide assortment of greens, kalamata olives, feta cheese and an absolutely delish wine vinaigrette. I think E’s Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh was the best quinoa I’d ever had- it was light, refreshing, and perfect for a summer Mediterranean feast. K’s Turkish Moussaka was gobbled up by all the happy omnivores at the party, and I was really jealous of the decadent eggplant starring in the dish. L#2 Fresh Fruit with cream was the perfect end to a summer feast, and we were all completely full and happy by the end of the evening.

See how much delicious fun it is to get together with other gluten free foodies in your neighborhood? Don’t you want to start or join your own Gluten Free Support Group? Why not give it a try- I bet you’ll discover all kinds of tasty gluten free dishes you’ve never had before… I can’t wait for our next meeting, but I’m thinking I need to join a gym to compensate for all this gourmet gluten free dining I’ve been doing lately… ;)

grilled-stuffed-mushrooms.jpg Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh Gluten Free Turkish Moussaka artichokesplate.jpg

Red Onion Vegetarian Risotto Recipe
6 cups homemade Gluten Free vegetable stock (or use gluten free veg bouillon)
4 tbsp unsalted butter (OR olive oil OR margarine)
1 red onion or 8 shallots, finely chopped
4 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup arborio rice (short grain japanese sushi rice also works)
1 1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp. italian seasonings
1/2 to 2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese and romano cheese (optional)
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, julienned for garnish
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Grilled Mushrooms for serving

Heat stock in a pan until almost boiling, then lower heat to simmer.

Heat butter or oil in fry pan, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions or shallots, galic cloves and bay leaves and cook until onions are softened but not browned.

Add rice and stir until grains are translucent and glistening (a minute or two). Pour in wine and let simmer until it is absorbed.

Add stock to risotto one cup at a time, stirring and letting each cup be absorbed, repeatedly until you’ve used almost all the stock liquid and the rice is tender (about 20 minutes).

Add the last bit of stock. When it is absorbed, add the grated cheeses and seasonings. Combine thoroughly, remove from heat, cover and let sit for a few more minutes.

To serve, add julienned basil and top with grilled mushrooms (Recipe below)

Serve and garnish.

I made a homemade stock with butter, olive oil, garlic, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, fennel, parsley, bay leaves and fresh thyme. Homemade stock is the best!
Vegetarian Grilled Stuffed Mushroom Recipe
10 crimini mushrooms and 2 portabella mushrooms (or 30+ crimini)
Steak and grill type seasoning blend (I used Trader Joe’s, Spice Hunter probably has one as well)
olive oil
white wine vinegar
3 or more finely diced shallots
3 or more pressed fresh garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste (optional, especially if your steak seasoning blend contains it)

Needed equipment: foil grill topper tray with holes but plenty of solid surface area (not the wire trap type), grill (you can use grill pan but best results from a propane or charcoal grill)

Prepare mushrooms- remove caps from mushrooms. Leave crimini caps whole and slice portabella mushrooms.

Make marinade by shaking a healthy amount of steak and grill seasoning (we’re talking teaspoon(s) here)
Add several glug of olive oil (tablespoon(s))
Whisk in white wine vinegar to taste (about 1/3 of however much olive oil you used, or more to taste)
Add your finely diced shallots and garlic cloves, whisking them in so they are evenly distributed in the vinaigrette.
Season with salt and pepper.
Adjust seasonings and white wine if needed.

Take your mushroom caps and immerse in marinade. Rub seasonings and garlic/shallots on the surface of each cap, and fill each cavity with diced shallots and garlic mixture. Place on a plate. Coat your sliced portabellas in any leftover marinade. Reserve. (Keep any leftover marinade for basting mushrooms while grilling.)

Heat your grill (or if propane, just turn it on!) to a medium heat. No burning inferno temperatures please, or your mushrooms will cry.
Spray foil grill topper tray with nonstick grill quality cooking spray (make sure your brand is gluten free!) Place it on the grill, leaving enough room on the right or left to grill your portabella slices directly on the grill.

Carefully place your crimini on the grill topper cavity up and distribute your portabella slices. Put any broken or especially thin slices on the grill topper, and if you like you can put sturdier, longer slices directly on the grill for attractive grill marks.
Shut the lid of your grill. Do something else for a few minutes. Check your mushrooms periodically, turning or moving them as needed. Eventually you will want to turn your stuffed crimini upside down so the shallots will get all golden and slightly caramelized. Some filling may be lost. Some filling may fall out. Salvage what you can and refill any mushrooms that lose too much stuffing. The flavor makes any casualties worth it! You can rotate your slices so that they spend some time on the grill topper (if needed) but make sure the sturdy slices spend enough time flat on the grill to get grill marks on both sides. When your mushrooms look done and are tender to the touch, and filling is golden and soft, plate.

You can enjoy these as appetizers or on risotto, polenta, pilaf, mashed potatoes, or plain rice. Mmm mmm tasty!
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