Crispy-Edged Focaccia with Tomatoes & Zucchini
Yesterday, as I gloriously splashed around in Lake Sammamish on a perfect PNW summer Saturday, I commented to my (socially distant) friend Stephanie that this was the type of weekend we spend the rest of the year waiting for. It was warm out (but not too hot), the water was refreshing (but not cold!), and once we got back to shore, we had a wine tasting waiting for us. And to soak up the wine, we had about-to-be grilled halibut, and this Crispy-Edged Focaccia with Tomatoes and Zucchini.
There should probably be some new word to define the overwhelming emotion that is “I can’t express the rush of joy I feel being in close-ish proximity to my friends.” Like lots of other folks, I’ve mostly kept to my house over the past four months. It’s the responsible thing to do, and for me, and hardly seems like much of an ask in the face of a global pandemic. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get tiring, even though I live with my lovely partner (and we equally agree that we can’t believe how well we’re getting along, what with all of this togetherness). I just miss my friends. And the outside.
So, with masks in hand, boundaries agreed on, and outdoor plans firmed up, we headed to Jen and Tim’s for an amazing afternoon of being on the water, tasting wine, mostly, giddily enjoying a PNW summer evening with friends. The Wine Tribe tasting resulted in some excellent finds (I’ll leave it to Steph to post those results soon!), Jen and Tim made an incredible dinner (with drool-worthy tomatoes from their garden) and, I’m pleased to say, the focaccia did itself justice.
Speaking of friends, this focaccia recipe, with the adaptations, came directly from my pal Christopher. He and I like to give one another real-time updates on what we’re making for dinner (or dessert or perhaps cocktail hour). When he texted me photos of the gorgeous, chewy-cheesy-crispy edged glory of a gluten-filled dream, I demand details. As it turns out, he took this great recipe and pizza-fied it. He was kind enough to share the details for me, so that I, in turn, could zhuzh it up in my own way. I kept the crispy edge (brilliant) and added a bunch of sautéed veggies to highlight some glorious summertime produce and make it more of a side dish. The end result is an airy, chewy bread topped with crispy, cheese edges and filled with the heartiness and tang of summer veggies.
This recipe is a great one to try for bread-baking newbies, or just anyone who loves a good focaccia. It is quite simple, and the original recipe from Bon Appetite has some great videos that explain it step-by-step.
Using Christopher’s techniques, I made the following changes:
- Christopher noted that, for his pizza purposes, he actually split the dough into 2 separate 9×13 glass baking dishes. He felt that created the right thickness. For what I was making – more focaccia like, but still not wanting a super thick dough, I used a large lasagna pan, 10×14.
- I used the kind of mozzarella that comes in a vacuum-sealed pack, not in water
- Of course, you can make this as cheesy – or not – as you like. But piling the cheese around the edges is a must for those perfect, crispy edges.
- Obviously, using any veggies will work great; I went with summer produce, but subbing anything that’s in season will work perfectly well. I would suggest cooking it fully before topping the focaccia
A few extra photos for guidance:
Here’s what it looks like, unbaked but with the cheese lining the edges:
Still unbaked, with cheese edges + cooked veggies in the center:
And the full focaccia, after it’s come out of the oven:
[tasty-recipe id=”9623″]August 2, 2020
This entry was posted in baking, breads, side dish, vegetarian and tagged baking, bread, focaccia, summer veggies, tomatoes, zucchini.