Published July/August 2015

Flavorful Flagstaff

Try out this seasonal recipe from Coppa Café

Brian Konefal, chef and co-owner of Coppa Café, a European-style restaurant in Flagstaff, offers readers a simple, easy-to-make summer lunch composed of ingredients you can find at just about any farmers market, but with what he calls “Flagstaff flair.” The dish: juniper-roasted heirloom tomatoes, wild mushroom toast, and local goat cheese.
“This could be served with a nice salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette and accompanied by a nutty Chardonnay for a wonderful summer lunch,” he suggests.
2 juniper branches with berries
1 large heirloom tomato per person
¼ lb. wild mushrooms per person
1 loaf, naturally leavened bread
Sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs. goat cheese
Garlic cloves
1 dollop of butter
1 sprig fresh thyme
Juniper branches can be found just about everywhere in Flagstaff. Just snip off a couple of small branches with scissors; they are even better with the berries on them.
For the tomatoes, cut them in half so they stay round, sprinkle with sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Cover each tomato with a sprig of juniper. Place the tomatoes under a broiler in a toaster oven or conventional oven and leave them until they begin to brown. Sprinkle a touch more olive oil, trying to coat the juniper. Let it cook until the top of each tomato is darkly roasted. Then, remove from oven and remove the sprigs of juniper. While cooling, add a spoonful of goat cheese to the top of each tomato. Sprinkle the cheese with the olive oil.
For the mushrooms, any wild variety will work. These can be purchased at the Flagstaff Farmers Market as soon as the monsoon rains begin. If large, cut into 1-inch pieces. For every cup of wild mushrooms, you’ll need one clove of garlic with the skin on. Lightly crush it, and put it into a 10-inch sauté pan. Add a dollop of butter, or more if you prefer, to the pan with the garlic. On medium heat, lightly brown the garlic. When the butter begins to froth, add the mushrooms. It is important not to crowd the mushrooms. Lightly brown the mushrooms. When they begin to wilt, add a sprig of fresh thyme and mix well. Remove the garlic and thyme before serving.
Using naturally leavened bread from the market, toast the bread on the grill or in a toaster oven. When it comes out, lightly rub the surface with a crushed garlic clove. Scoop the mushrooms right onto the toast.
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