I’ve been trying to cook with the season and with local produce, as exemplified by the butternut squash risotto. I like the idea of cooking with what is available locally – aside from cutting down food travel distance, the food is fresher and it keeps me in touch with the season. I enjoy acknowledging the changes of season (living somewhere that has distinct seasons), and my food choices can be part of that.
This meal is about as far from the above ideal as one can get. The only things in this meal that are local are the goat cheese and the onions, and much of it is out of season. Alas, sometimes a craving comes upon you (or you realize you have focaccia that needs to be eaten). Hence, this dinner: Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese sandwiches on Rosemary, Onion, Garlic Focaccia with a salad of baby greens.
The focaccia was actually made for the risotto dinner, but was not integral, and wasn’t nearly as good as the risotto, so I ignored it. Here I’ll include a modified recipe (that I think will be better than what I made last weekend).
As for the veggies, the zucchini, portobello mushrooms and red bell peppers were tossed in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper (with a dash of honey) then broiled. To assemble the sandwich, cut half of a round focaccia in half horizontally. Spread one half with goat cheese and the other with the balsamic vinaigrette that will go on the salad. Then layer the veggies, zucchini, mushrooms then peppers, and top with the other slice of bread. Cut into wedges. Quick easy and tasty!
The baby greens were tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, including mustard and lemon olive oil, and finished with pine nuts. If you already have bread ready, this is a very easy dinner.
Here’s the focaccia.
Rosemary, Onion and Garlic Focaccia – makes 8 servings
- ½ tsp Honey
- 1 c. Warm water; (scant)
- 1 pack Active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ c. Whole-wheat flour
- 2 c. All-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 3 Tbs. Olive oil, divided
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
1. Stir honey into the warm water in a measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water and stir until yeast dissolves. Let mixture stand in draft-free area about 5 minutes or until yeast begins to bubble. Press garlic and chop rosemary.
2. Mix flour with salt and 1 T. oil until oil is evenly distributed. Pour in yeast mixture, add garlic and rosemary, and mix ingredients until a smooth, slightly sticky dough is formed, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Knead dough by hand on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth until smooth. If dough is too sticky, add flour by the tablespoon until it reaches the desired consistency.
4. Put dough in a bowl and cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap and aluminum foil or a kitchen towel. Let dough rise until it doubles in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. While bread is rising, thinly slice onion. Heat remaining 2 T. olive oil in a pan and saute onion with extra rosemary until just beginning to soften.
6. Punch dough down and let stand 5 minutes. Knead for a minute more on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth.
7. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a sprayed or oiled 9″ baking pan or spring-form pan. Dimple dough with finger tips and spread onion mixture on top. Sprinkle with salt and chile flakes if desired.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F while focaccia rises a second time (only about 30 minutes). Bake focaccia in the center of the oven for 25 minutes or until it tests done.
9. The focaccia is done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out dry. It will be golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool.
Note: this recipe is meant for whole wheat flour. I’m sure it can be made with all white flour, but you might want to check other recipes to see how it might differ. I made a modified version of an original recipe by Léon Brocard.