Photograph by Will Anderson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Gather Says Relax: Food as Retreat

M’Semen with Minted Crushed Tomato

Amuse-Bouche from Issue 13 - Summer 2018 – The Getaway issue

As food goes, we think the best expression of self-care—that familiar Sunday hashtag and newly minted entry into our lexicon (Merriam-Webster inducted it this year)—may be bread. Even the act of making it can be a meditation. Our fluffy flatbreads feel especially soul-nourishing with crushed tomato dip.

serves 6

  • cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup semolina flour plus 1 Tbsp more for layering
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup oil (half olive, half canola)
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ Tbsp nigella seeds stirred into 1 Tbsp semolina flour

  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp finely grated ginger

  • 1

    Whisk flour, ¼ cup semolina, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Pour in water and mix with a fork until it forms a shaggy mass. Bring together into a dough, adding a tiny bit more water if needed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and smooth, about 10 minutes. Divide into 6 equal pieces and shape with oiled hands into balls. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 15 minutes.

  • 2

    Meanwhile, coarsely grate tomato, discard skin, and stir in mint, oil and ginger. Season to taste.

  • 3

    On an oiled surface with oiled hands, dip a ball in oil and smear and spread into a paper-thin round. Smear with some butter and sprinkle lightly with semolina and nigella. Fold round in thirds like a letter, butter and sprinkle again. Fold in thirds again to form a square. Repeat with remaining doughs, transfering squares to a large, oiled baking sheet.

  • 4

    Working one at a time, pat out a square until doubled in size. Heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry, pressing gently and flipping once or twice until golden and crisp. Repeat with remaining squares.