I've adapted the classic walnut and aromatics sauce from the tiny island of Ischia, off the Naples coast, to create a super quick weeknight dinner or appetizers. A true Foriana includes yellow raisins, but I find them too sweet, so I use minced shallots instead. A drizzle of roasted walnut oil + a touch of allspice and black pepper make this even tastier. You'll be heating your oven anyway to bake these, so the extra step of toasting the walnuts, coaxing even more flavor from them, is worth the minor additional effort. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames
1 cup organic walnut halves
3 whole wheat tortillas
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium shallot lobes, peeled and chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
A pinch (per tortilla) of dried Italian or Greek oregano (You can also use chopped fresh, about a tablespoon all told, if you like.)
1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil (or olive oil, but the walnut oil is better)
Freshly ground pepper
Ground allspice (a few dashes)
3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
6 tablespoon coarsely grated firm cheese such as Manchego or Fontina
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Position one oven shelf near the top.
Put the walnut halves on a large baking sheet; place it on top rack of the oven. You’re going to start to brown the nuts while the oven’s heating. Put your timer on and check after 10 minutes. The nuts may need a bit more time than that – they probably will, depending on how quickly your oven heats up – so flip them over on the baking sheet, and put them back in for no more than 2 minutes at a time, repeating as necessary to toast the walnuts lightly. Remove from the hot baking sheet, wipe off any small walnut bits and return the baking sheet to the oven until you’re ready to put the flatbreads in to bake.
While the oven is heating, warm 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet. Add the shallot and give it a good stir to coat with the oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic, pine nuts and oregano. Sprinkle on a small pinch of salt and cook for another minute or so.
When the walnuts come out of the oven and have cooled slightly, chop to a medium-fine texture. Add to the ingredients in the skillet, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Warm over medium heat for a minute or so, stirring to mix all the ingredients together.
Divide the contents of the skillet evenly between the three tortillas, scattering it evenly over each. Drizzle on the toasted walnut oil. Grind black pepper over each, to taste. Lightly sprinkle on the ground allspice – a few gentle shakes per flatbread.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of the grated Pecorino or Parmigiano over each tortilla, and then cover with the grated Manchego or Fontina.
Put the three tortillas onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted. (Check after 5 minutes, though, in case your oven runs particularly hot.
Remove from the oven; cut with a pizza cutter and serve right away. (Small wedges make great appetizers.)
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)