I love authentic focaccia made with a generous amount of olive oil and had such fun working on focaccia recipes for our Month on the Italian Riviera inspired by Lucio Galletto. Lucio uses more water and oil in his recipe than many I’ve seen and I think that’s what makes his focaccia so good. Enjoy it as a starter with some olives, a little extra olive oil for dipping and a glass of Chalmers Montevecchio Bianco, a delicious field blend of lesser seen Italian varietals including ribolla gialla and falanghina. I also love how versatile focaccia is – Lucio calls it ‘Liguria’s answer to pizza’ and I see what he means – see five of my favourite focaccia variations at the bottom of this page.
Serves 4 as a starter, side dish or snack
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Once you’ve mastered a basic focaccia you can start having fun with toppings. Most Mediterranean herbs work well, but my favourite is rosemary fresh from the garden. After adding oil and salt to the top of the dough, scatter about a tablespoon of rosemary leaves over it.
Liguria is famous for the tiny, tasty Taggiasche olives that make the most delicate olive oil. They’re also preserved in oil and are great scattered over focaccia dough. Ideally use the pitted ones so no one accidentally bites down on a pit. After adding oil and salt to the dough, scatter about 2 tablespoons of pitted olives over it.
I love the way red onion sweetens when it’s baked. Once the dough’s in the baking dish and dimpled, drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over it and sprinkle with salt, scatter a very finely sliced small red onion over the top, then drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake until the onion’s slightly charred, which may be 5 minutes or so longer than for a plain focaccia.
Place dough in baking dish, dimple it, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss 2 small, peeled potatoes (about 200g) with a tablespoon of oil and arrange them on top. Drizzle with another tablespoon of oil and bake until potato is golden (possibly 5 minutes or so longer than for plain focaccia); baste the potato occasionally with the oil around the sides of the tin. See full recipe here.