by Feli Chic'Cuisine
Indulge in the rustic charm of Focaccia with Roasted Vegetables—a delectable bread recipe that not only elevates your dining experience but also works wonders for reducing food waste. It's a culinary solution for those times when your fridge hosts a handful of leftover veggies from previous dinner preparations not quite enough for a full meal but too good to discard.
I really enjoy making this versatile focaccia—it's a great way to give those leftover veggies a tasty makeover. Roasting them enhances the flavors, creating a delicious mix of caramelized goodness. As I whip up the dough, my kitchen fills with the tempting scent of fresh herbs and olive oil, promising a delightful experience.
When the focaccia comes out of the oven, all golden and smelling amazing, I can't help but admire the colorful mix of roasted veggies on top. The bread's soft, fluffy texture goes perfectly with the hearty flavors, making a delicious combo.
I like serving this Puglian Focaccia on its own, with my favorite dishes, or as the star of a laid-back get-together. With every bite, I enjoy the satisfaction of turning basic ingredients into a tasty creation, all while being mindful of a sustainable approach to cooking. It's a culinary journey that always brings happiness and deliciousness to my table.
Toppings for Focaccia
For the roasted vegetables, consider an array of vibrant options like bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, parsnip, potatoes, carrots and eggplants. To enhance their natural sweetness and elevate their flavors, toss the veggies in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and optionally add minced garlic or aromatic herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
Roast in a preheated oven at around 400°F (200°C) until they achieve a caramelized perfection – usually 20-25 minutes, depending on the vegetable size. Once your vegetables have soaked up those rich, roasted flavors, they become the star atop the Focaccia.
Taleggio cheese is a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese that hails from Italy. It has a strong aroma but a mild, buttery flavor with fruity notes. If you're looking for a substitute for Taleggio cheese, consider the following options:
Brie: Brie is a creamy, mild French cheese with a similar texture to Taleggio. It may not have the same pungency, but it can provide a rich and smooth flavor.
Fontina: Another Italian cheese, Fontina, is semi-soft and has a strong flavor like Taleggio. It melts well, making it a good option for recipes that require melted Taleggio.
Brie and Gorgonzola Blend: Mixing equal parts Brie and Gorgonzola can create a combination that somewhat mimics the flavor profile of Taleggio. The Brie adds creaminess, while the Gorgonzola contributes a bit of sharpness.
Brick Cheese: This American cheese is mild and melts well, making it suitable for recipes that call for melted Taleggio.
Havarti: Havarti is a Danish cheese with a creamy texture and a mild, buttery flavor. While not as strong as Taleggio, it can work as a substitute in certain dishes.
The substitutes may not perfectly replicate the flavor and texture of Taleggio, but they can offer a satisfactory alternative.
To prepare Focaccia
To decorate and bake Focaccia
Prep. Time: 35 min
Bake Time: 30 min
For the dough:
500g plain white Flour
1 Tbsp sugar
7g sachet easy bake dried yeast
1 tsp sea salt flakes
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
300 ml lukewarm water
For the topping
250g leftover roasted vegetables; potatoes, carrots and parsnip
fresh sprigs rosemary
6 cloves garlic, bushed 9unpeeled)
flaky sea salt
100g Taleggio cheese (Brie, Havarti...) cut into cubes
1. Combine dry yeast and sugar in a small bowl, and whisk with ½ cup lukewarm water (taken from the pre-measured water). Allow it to sit for 5 minutes until bubbles or foam appear.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Create a well in the center and add olive oil and the bubbly yeast mixture into the remaining lukewarm water. Use a fork or spatula to combine.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Drizzle the bowl with oil, place the dough inside, cover it with a tea towel, and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
4. Generously drizzle a 30 x 25 cm baking pan with olive oil, ensuring the sides are coated. Transfer the dough to a clean surface, roll it to match the pan size, and place it inside.
5. Combine roasted vegetables with rosemary, garlic, and a little olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture over the dough along with Taleggio cheese. Use your fingers to press in the veggies and cheese, creating small indentations. Sprinkle with salt and let it sit at room temperature for an additional 20 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F/gas mark 7), conventional, not fan. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Once the dough is ready, bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through. After removing from the oven, drizzle with olive oil and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Serve either warm or cool.
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him… The people who give you their food give you their heart. - Cesar Chavez