This is a recipe I always feel smug about. It is so simple and easy, but the end result makes me feel as if a whole lot more skill and effort are required to achieve it.
It is, put simply, focaccia dough, filled with grilled vegetables, Parma ham and Taleggio and then baked. The filling however is very flexible, you can change the ingredients to taste. I think Taleggio is the perfect cheese for this, but again, there are many cheeses which would also work with the ingredients. When I first saw this recipe, it called for a packet of focaccia bread mix. But honestly, there is no difference in effort required when making the bread from scratch or making it from a packet. I choose to make it from scratch because I know exactly what is going in to it, and there will be no preservatives or additives.
The first task is to grill your chosen vegetables. I have used courgettes, red onions and mixed peppers.
Aren’t the colours just beautiful?
I have also chosen to add mushrooms and tomatoes to the mix. I bought a bottle of mixed mushrooms with herbs in oil. This is because I have never mastered the art of cooking mushrooms so that they don’t end up oozing water. The tomatoes I have used are a pack of sun-dried tomatoes in herbs and oil. I always find the flavour of these is a bit more concentrated, and therefore ideal for this kind of recipe.
Then start on the focaccia dough and leave it to do its first rise for around two hours.. Once it has doubled in size, knock it down and divide into two pieces, one piece just slightly larger than the other. Roll out the smaller piece of dough and place on a baking tray.
Yes, I know this looks a bit rough and ready, I ended up with a few holes I had to patch up!
Then spread a thin layer of sun-dried tomato paste over this, leaving a clear centimetre around all the edges. Now you can begin by layering your ingredients. First a layer of Parma ham, and then the courgettes, peppers, Taleggio, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and a final layer of Parma ham. Roll out the last piece of dough and carefully place it over the vegetables, pressing down the edges to meet the base layer of dough. You want to seal the edges so that the filling does not leak during cooking. Bake at 200°C (180°C fan) for 30 to 40 minutes.
This is a dish that can be eaten hot or cold, but is at its best when just warm.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing I hope you have a peaceful day 🙂