Friday, August 30, 2013

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

Sweet purple grapes, fresh red onion, and tangy goat cheese on a chewy light fennel focaccia.

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

After sharing a pair of peach pizzas last Friday, and a raspberry pizza the Friday before, I thought I should move back to vegetable pizzas for my Friday Night Pizza Night posts.  After all, I've got a sweet potato dough and a roasted pumpkin dough that I want to share with you.

However, I don't want this focaccia to drop off my radar.

I had a very productive period making and poorly photographing--but not writing up headnotes for--a pile of tasty recipes, and I thought I'd get them all written up over the summer.

Didn't happen.

I don't want everything to slip through the cracks, or rather fall off the stacks of recipe notes on my work table or dissolve into rows of scrolled-past photos in my ever-expanding photo library.  I don't want to start posting every day, either.  Three days a week is working for me (is it working for you?  too much? I should do a survey sometime.  After I've gotten all those blogs written up I'll ponder it).

I'm going to share a third fruity Friday Night Pizza Night (that's a link to my board of the same name on Pinterest) and then switch over to vegetables next week.  The chicken, peach, Hatch chile, spinach, red onion BBQ pizza will have to wait until next summer, as will the cantaloupe and prosciutto.  Something to look forward to, my spouse always says.

This focaccia uses fennel seeds in the dough.  I bought a bag of them because Alyssa's Skinny Italian Wedding Soup With Kale recipe over at Everyday Maven sounded good, and I figured the seeds could be useful to have on hand.  I'm glad I did--I now use fennel seeds in sourdough bread, Italian sausage, and spaghetti sauce.  Fennel seeds (for me at least) are versatile and not a seldom-used spice around here (I'm talking about you, sumac-for-fattoush and dill-seed-for-pickles).

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia


This is not my first focaccia rodeo, though apparently all of the focaccias I've been making, photographing (and not writing up blog posts about) have yet to grace the screen.  So I'm going to refer you to my Arugula Pesto Focaccia with Artichokes, Feta, Goat Cheese and Green Olives if you want a thorough write up about what to do with your focaccia dough to turn it into focaccia, or why you should listen to my spouse and try focaccia.

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

NOTE: This recipe is not gluten free as written, because I used bread and whole wheat flours. To adapt this recipe for a gluten free diet please substitute the gluten free flour blend of your choice, or make your own--here are some options:
http://glutenfreedoctor.com/gluten-free-flour-mix-white/
http://glutenfreedoctor.com/gluten-free-flour-mix-whole-grain/
Check labels to confirm that your other ingredients are also gluten free. Good sources for determining gluten free products can be found here:
http://knowgluten.me/2012/03/31/other-names-for-gluten/
http://glutenfreedoctor.com/gluten-free/
http://www.celiac.com/categories/Safe-Gluten%252dFree-Food-List-%7B47%7D-Unsafe-Foods-%26amp%3B-Ingredients/

Grapes, Goat cheese and Red Onion with Fennel Focaccia

For the focaccia dough--recipe from The Best Pizza Is Made at Home (Nitty Gritty Cookbooks)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
10 grinds pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the topping
olive oil, for brushing the dough and oiling the skillet
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped grapes
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
kosher salt

In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer) combine the yeast and water.  Let that sit a few minutes while you gather the other ingredients, then dump the rest on top.  Mix at low speed until the dough starts to come together, then stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Mix again at medium speed until the dough is a smooth ball, another 5 minutes or so.  Refer to my Pizza Primer post for photo collages of what the dough should be looking like at various stages.  

Transfer dough to an oiled 12 inch cast iron skillet (other possible containers include a deep dish pizza pan or cake pan, but I have neither of those big enough) and press it out to the sides of the skillet.  Cover with a dish towel and let rest on the counter.  Meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  If you read my pizza recipes every week and don't have a pizza stone, don't despair, because I'm not going to harangue you about it this week.  After a 30 minute rest/rise, dimple the surface of the dough with your fingers and brush the top with olive oil.  Scatter the onion in the dimples, and press it down into the dough a bit.  Do the same with the grapes, but pressing the goat cheese gets sort of gooey, so you can skip that part.  Just scatter the goat cheese, ok?  Sprinkle a pinch of salt across the dough.  Bake in the lower half of the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool a few minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

This post is shared on the From the Farm Blog Hop, the Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty TuesdaysWednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday,  Food on Friday and What's In The Box.

14 comments:

  1. Anything that involves goat cheese makes me smile. I'm intrigued by the grapes; I actually thought they were blueberries at first. I have yet to try my hand at making foacaccia bread, but my brother in law makes a mean loaf...I don't think loaf is the right term but you get the idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      Why not call it a loaf? I find focaccia making to be a lot more casual than pizza. Not that making pizza is stressful, but the focaccia, you just let it hang out in the pan, you poke it a bit, throw some toppings over it, and bake. No watching, not parchment paper shimmying, just stick it in the oven and bake like a cake until done. Easy.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. I always forget to cook with grapes. Usually they're the food I eat from a bowl -- a large bowl -- pretending they are M&Ms. Whenever I do cook with them, I remember how much sweeter they get when they are warm. Thanks for the reminder to save a few for bread!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lydia,
      When my spouse is around we always have grapes as he takes them for his lunch. He also gives the composting guinea pigs their 'morning grapes'. I put a stop to that foolishness after he left, but still give the pigs a morning treat--these days it's a cherry tomato that they carefully snag and gleefully strut off to a corner to eat.
      Oh, and you know, we eat them for snacking and pizza and stuff. The pigs are a lot more interesting though.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  3. I don't know how bloggers post everyday!? Or even three times I week! I used to do once a week and I can't even keep up with that anymore! I love bread, fruit, and cheese...this Focaccia is a winner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nat,
      These people I live with seem to want to eat on a regular basis, and the farmers are harvesting amazing crops this year, so I'm definitely not short of material to inspire me. Just need the time to get caught up on the back log.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. great flavors! I adore grapes and goat cheese together... sweet and tangy. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren,
      My all time favorite remains figs and goat cheese, and I'm glad that figs are coming into season as I have Big Plans for the local figs.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I love grapes on focaccia! I'm counting down the days until concord grape season so I can make as many as possible! I'll have to add this combo to my rotation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam,
      The grapes in the alley behind my local library are ripening, so I hope your concords aren't too far behind.

      I really had no idea how much edible food was grown in my town until I got a dog and started walking in the alleys.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Gosh this looks so good! I never got around to making this last week...too much snacking on the grapes, but hope to make it this week.

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      I predict you in the OC will be enjoying grapes for a while, so you've got plenty of time.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  7. Nice! I am definitely a Fresh Feasts Grapes and always looking for creative ways to use more.
    I blogged about your wicked soup today on my blog, along with a cute “get well” card – it’s a crafty blog after all ;) I hope you pop by and say hi.

    ReplyDelete