I have to admit that I'm not quite certain that this can count as a traditional Catalan style coca, but using puff pastry as the base was my first introduction to the world of cocas when I was cooking alongside a native Catalonian. Either way, the nature of coca (like other types of pizzas and flat-breads) allows for such experimentation and this is among my favorite variations. As much as I often miss the nice cheesy pizzas of my past, when it comes to making vegan alternatives, I don't even bother with imitations. I love the simplicity and complex flavors you can achieve by mixing fresh vegetables and herbs with just a touch of oil. It's so simple and beautiful on it's own that I wouldn't dare add anything else.
Lately, I've had so much fennel on my mind. It's so funny to realize the amount of time I spend daydreaming about recipes and the next thing I'm going to cook. It almost seems silly, but I guess I choose to believe I'm just enjoying the finer things in life, ha! Anyway fennel, if you knew how much I've been thinking about you lately, you'd probably blush. I had plans for a salad, I wondered about soups. And maybe I settled on the easiest route, but I had spent so much time thinking about it that when it was time to get working, I wanted something fast and easy. Good thing fennel does magical things when roasted simply.
1 sheet puff pastry (recipe to come, but there are many out there to reference)
1 bulb fennel, white pieces thinly sliced and fronds reserved
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
1/2 of a yellow squash, sliced into thin coins
1 carrot, sliced into ribbons
1/2 of a sweet onion, thinly sliced and halved
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Line one sheet with the fennel and squash, and the other with apple and carrot. Drizzle both with a bit of olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Bake the apple and carrot tray for about 10 minutes, and check for browning. Remove from oven when just soft and lightly browned. Continue to bake the fennel and squash for another 10-15 minutes, until just browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the meantime, heat a medium sized saucepan with olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions and saute for 5 minutes until soft. Add a dash of sugar and mix well. Saute another 8-10 minutes, or until onions have caramelized. Remove from heat.
Using one the same baking sheets (just transfer your roasted veggies to one tray) and parchment, lay your puff pastry down. Brush with a bit of olive oil and top with caramelized onions. Layer on the rest of your roasted vegetables as you wish. Finish with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes in your 400 degree oven.
Remove from oven and let cool. Garnish with fennel fronds and fresh sage.
The puff pastry here counts for a lot, and can be fairly time consuming to make from scratch, but it's well worth the effort if you have the time for it. If need be, check your natural foods stores for a vegan pre-made puff pastry--I know they're out there and plenty delicious!