Italian
Focaccia with Olives & Artichokes

After three wonderful weeks in Italy I returned home inspired to get back into my kitchen and start working on some new recipes. Unfortunately, a few days after returning home, I fell in the garage, fracturing my hip which required surgery to repair. After five days in the hospital, I am back home, but forced to use a walker for the foreseeable future. My dream days of playing in the kitchen will have to be put on hold for a few weeks!

I make quite a bit of focaccia because it is so easy to make and you can flavor it in so many different ways. For this recipe, I made four small round focaccias that I topped with savory Kalamata olives and frozen artichokes.

First I defrosted the artichokes, then I sautéed them in a pan to give them more flavor. If you want, you can also add a few slices of onion, and some chopped fresh thyme or rosemary are always delicious on top of the focaccia.

Unfortunately, fresh artichokes are not readily available near me and, if you do find them in our stores, they are not the best quality. So I substitute fresh artichokes with frozen ones. I prefer frozen artichokes to canned ones because I find canned ones to have a metallic taste.

If you can't find frozen artichokes, then I recommend using the marinated ones sold in jars. Just drain them well and dry them with paper towels before using them.

Enjoy your meal!
Deborah Apples

ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 2 1/2 cups hot water (approximately)

Gasket:

  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen artichoke pieces, thawed and dried

  • Raw sea salt

  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix 5 cups flour, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add enough warm water to create a fuzzy ball.
  3. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading with the palms of your hands.
  4. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding a little flour if necessary to prevent the dough from sticking.
  5. Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place the dough inside.
  6. Roll the ball in the oil, making sure both the sides of the bowl and the dough ball are lightly greased.
  7. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place to rise. (I cover it with a kitchen towel over the cling film and place it on a large sunny windowsill.)
  8. Let the dough rise until it doubles in volume, about an hour or an hour and a half, depending on room temperature.
  9. Line two baking sheets with baking paper lightly brushed with olive oil.
  10. Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll out each one into a round disk.
  11. Using your fingers, roll out each disc into a circle about 18-20cm in diameter and place two circles on each baking tray.
  12. Cover the dough circles with a clean tea towel and let them rest while the oven heats.
  13. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  14. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, then add the artichokes.
  15. Fry, stirring often, until the puffs begin to brown.
  16. Using your fingertips, create dimples in the top of each scone, then drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt.
  17. Divide the artichokes and olives between the four focaccias.
  18. Bake the scones until golden brown and cooked through, about 18 to 22 minutes (internal temperature of 190°F).
  19. Let cool to room temperature and enjoy!

Nutritional information:

Product: 10

Portions: 1

Amount per serving:

Calories: 364Totally fat: 12gSaturated fats: 2gTrans Fats: 0gUnsaturated fats: 10gCholesterol: 0 mgSodium: 331 mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 4 gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g


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