Saturday, January 9, 2010


Tonight I am going to Priscilla's for Women Who Wine (Whine) Night. The rule is that everyone brings either a bottle of wine or an appetizer. Or both. Usually we have so much food we can't eat it all. Most of the time it is all really good. We have only one friend who doesn't cook at all, but she shops well. I may have mentioned that I am bringing the arepitas from food and wine magazine. But I also decided that I needed to be sure to get the lion's share of attention for my cooking so I decided that I would make a foccacia to go with whatever stewishy thing P makes. I make really good foccacia.

The cool thing about making it is that you can make a really simple pizza-like dough and do whatever you want to it. The key is to drizzle it with lots of olive oil and Parmesan. Anything you add after that is up to your whim and the contents of your refrigerator. I like Kalamata olives, rosemary, caramelized onions, garlic, and lots of salt and pepper. Make lots of indentations with your fingers to hold all of your best green, extra virgin olive oil. Kids love foccacia. Sometimes it is hard to get them to eat the rest of the dinner it is so good. But as I am sure you can guess, I don't really go for picky-eater kids in my house. I made it. You're eating it. 'Nuff said. And believe me, if you stick to that, consistently, your kids will enjoy a wide variety of foods. Mine love the bibimbap that I last wrote about, fernbrake and all. They also like Vietnamese, Italian, Russian, Mexican, Chinese, and well, just about anything. I grew up the same way, Grandma Foodie is a great cook, and she likes to experiment, too. It has served us all well to enjoy lots of different kinds of cuisine.

So try this. You'll like it. Adapted from Tyler Florence.


  • 2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or fleur du sel
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cornmeal, for dusting


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 T sun-dried tomatoes


In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foamy. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onion, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the onions caramelize. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add caramelized onions, garlic, olives, cheese, salt, pepper, sun dried tomatoes and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.


TexasHeather said...

This sounds absolutely TOO DIE FOR.

And I do not say that lightly.

OH MY GOODNESSS. I am so trying this. (with storebought, fresh but uncooked pizza dough) ('cause I have none of the utensils, time or know-how for doing it from scratch)

(If I accept that my way won't be as good as it could be, do I have permission to do it anyway???)

The Mendon Foodie said...

Heather: not only do have to accept that your way will not be as good as mine, you must freely admit it and yell from the rooftop, "I am not worthy of June's cooking advice!"

But sure, so ahead.

TexasHeather said...

LOL -- thanks! One day I might try to learn cooking doughs/breads, but, umm, not here. Not now.

Meanwhile, I'll do my pennance and try it anyway : )