experiments in the kitchen: zucchini, potato, and onion focaccia with fresh herbs

potato zucchini focaccia dough photo

i’m making focaccia for rambling restaurant tomorrow! i’m excited because it’s my first time doing any real cooking for our secret supper underground restaurant and because i’m currently in the midst of a focaccia obsession. i’m also a little nervous because it’s my first time doing any real cooking for our secret supper underground restaurant and it better be good because people are paying for it. yikes! i think it’ll be great, but bread can be temperamental and i really hope it doesn’t get angry with me tomorrow.

just to get some practice in (and stuff myself full of yummy carbs again) i played around with some more focaccia this evening. to make the dough, i followed the recipe from my last focaccia post in which i state that i can’t really be held responsible for any accuracy of measurements. wooooo, that was an understatement. in reading my own directions, i realized i had misremembered the milliliter to cup conversion and written down what would result in a watery goop rather than anything that might remotely resemble dough.  don’t panic – the appropriate corrections have been made to the recipe, which let’s all admit was loose enough to begin with. just adjust as necessary and it’ll be fine (p.s.  i will always do my best to transmit useful information, but  just use anything i say as a starting point anyway).

i had some zucchini, onion, and potatoes left over from my weekly organic vegetable bag, so i sliced them into very thin rounds with my discount shop cheese grater and managed to keep both thumbs intact this time. i am so wanting my own mandoline, not to mention my kitchenaid mixer and immersion blender from san francisco. sigh. anyway, it’s super easy to experiment with tasty focaccia combinations. just cut all your veggies into thin slices so they cook all the way through and lay them out on the dough between the second and third rising periods and poke the dough a bit in between the toppings. i sprinkled chopped sage and thyme on the zucchini slices, chopped rosemary on the potato slices, and onion rings over the whole slab. yum.

zucchini potato onion focaccia dough

so pretty! then a long drizzle of olive oil and leave to rise for a final 45 minutes. stick in the oven until the smell becomes overwhelming, remove from oven and eat.

baked zucchini onion potato focaccia

two random notes:

1. this focaccia can be a meal in itself, especially if you stick some cheese or meat or other vegetables in side. i sliced a huge square open when still warm and stuck in some slices of halloumi cheese. yuuuum.

2. often when i’m cooking or baking, i find myself hungry and impatient while my creations are in the oven. this probably stems from back in the day when i was like 10 years old and used to bake amazing apple pies with my babysitter lisa. after trimming the edges of the pie crust, we would bake the little irregular bits into cinnamon sugar cookies to eat while the pies were baking. perfect to tide over antsy children while the pies cook and cool and then are finally ready to eat.

unsurprisingly, i am still equally unable to wait for things to cook. in this case, if you get hungry while waiting for the focaccia to finish baking, you can fry up any leftover vegetable toppings really quickly because they’re already sliced so thin. just add a little olive oil to a frying pan and they’ll cook in just a few minutes. tasty with cheese, or eggs, or on a slice of toast…just save room for the focaccia!

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