Here's what Colman Andrews writes about cocas (or, I should say, coques) in Catalan Cuisine: "The coca (plural coques) is more or less the Catalan pizza -- a flat pastry base for a wide variety of toppings (both sweet and savory), usually made of simple bread dough and usually in the shape of an elongated oval (except in the Balearics, where it is often round). The word itself apparently derives from the Latin coquere, to cook, and is used not only in Catalan but in the old Occitan tongue of neighboring Toulouse."
Here's my question about this particular parsley coca: Is it really supposed to support so much greenery? Barrenechea called for two bunches of parsley and when I looked at the bunches of parsley I'd bought, I immediately put one back in the refrigerator. I am guessing that a "bunch" of parsley isn't the same in Madrid as it is in Mill Valley because this was SO MUCH PARSLEY and I momentarily wondered if she'd meant to call for 2 sprigs of parsley. Eating this coca was like eating a pile of rough, dry, roasted leaves -- think kale chips -- mounded on a thin piece of crust. Not disgusting, but not something you'd crave.
|coca before cooking
|Moisturize while you bake.
That same night, coca night, I also made a Barrenechea endive salad that entails stuffing the stiff, pale leaves with blue cheese and yogurt, topping with toasted almonds, and serving with orange segments.
|not sure this was how it was supposed to look
For dessert after this so-so meal, I served a quivering golden ingot of flan.
But no one likes flan in this household except for Owen and me and even we can't eat an entire flan on our own. The other two family members will not touch so much as spoonful and eventually I'm going to have to get rid of the flan, which is tragic because Natalie and the hens put so much work into producing the raw ingredients and I put so much work into extracting them and cooking them. I shouldn't have made flan, but it seemed like a requirement when trying out a Spanish cookbook.
My husband has called The Cuisines of Spain a "testing" cookbook, as in "testing our tolerance."