We traded the fig and pine infused breeze of Sardinia for the surprisingly cooler and pleasant Roman September.
Before leaving, I discovered a Sardinian dish called the coccoi (pronounced "co-coy") that reminded me of a potato pancake, only baked in the oven and loaded with different vegetables. It caught my attention at the bakery and I started to ask around for the recipe. I noticed I was getting a lot of conflicting information and finally I asked our landlord for the recipe, which he willingly gave to me, courtesy of his sister-in-law (along with a bag of freshly baked coccoi for us to take back on the ferry). He told me that the coccoi is a specialty of Bari Sardo and the townspeople keep the recipe well guarded. Well, not anymore. I was too excited about this to keep it to myself.
The Coccoi of Bari Sardo
I tweaked the recipe given to me by putting just half the amount of oil. The original coccoi left too much oil on my hands. I thought the result tasted lighter and healthier. It keeps well unrefrigerated for a picnic or the beach. It's perfect for small hands and lunch boxes and a vitamin packed snack to have around the house. This would make a nice addition to a brunch, especially for people who don't eat eggs. There are of course, variations on a theme. You can add small pieces of pancetta, or even some grated pecorino cheese.
16 oz. white flour (I used the Italian 00 flour)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 lb roma tomatoes (about 7)
2 lb either squash (butternut would probably work) or zucchini
1 lb white onion (about 6 small onions)
1/4 cup oil, or up to 1/2 cup if you want to be really authentic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt (amount of salt was not specified. I used about one teaspoon).
Using a food processor and working in batches, pulse the onions until they are reduced to fine pieces. Add to the flour mixture. Repeat with the squash or zucchini. For the tomatoes, remove the skin by cutting a cross into one end with a pairing knife and dropping into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Rinse with cold water and the skins should slip right off. (If not, return them briefly to the boiling water.) Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and then pulse them in the food processor. Mix them with the other ingredients, then stir in the oil. Once combined, line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the mixture out into whatever shape you like. I did ovals. You can do small individual coccoi, or larger coccoi that get cut into wedges. They should be about 2 cm. thick. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and crispy on the edges.