• Sheryl Ness

Fig, Fontina, and Walnut Focaccia

A few weeks ago, I was in the kitchen with my friend Nancy making fig jam. The purple Mission figs that arrive in Minnesota from California are only here for a few weeks in late summer. We had so many figs that day that I thought it would be fun to make fresh fig focaccia for our lunch. The result was delicious!



I think the taste of the fresh figs are really unique, but if you can't source fresh figs, dried figs would also work great. It's a sweet and savory result that pairs beautifully with the fontina cheese and walnuts. I added fresh lemon zest, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a drizzle of local wildflower honey to bring all of the tastes together. This would be good sipping on an ice-cold glass of Rose (just saying).


Give this focaccia a try and let me know what you think. I hope your fall is lovely and that you are all staying safe and well.


Fig, Fontina, and Walnut Focaccia



3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 packet active dry yeast (about 2 tablespoons)

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tablespoon sugar or honey

2 tablespoons olive oil


· In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt.

· Next place the warm (not too hot) water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast, followed by the sugar or honey.

· Let this sit for 5-7 minutes (or longer if needed) to allow the yeast to bloom.

· Add the olive oil to the water, yeast, sugar mixture and then mix into the flour with a spoon. You can also use a mixer with a hook attachment, but I keep it simple and stir for 5 minutes with a spoon. The dough should be a bit wet, so keep adding water if the dough seems dry.

· Cover the bowl with a cover or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours until it doubles in size.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


· Next, place the dough in an oiled round or rectangular baking pan.

· Sprinkle the top with a light coating of flour so that the dough does not stick to your hands. Form into the shape and size you want with your fingers.

· Let sit for another 30 minutes.



Topping

4-5 ripe figs (or 8 dried figs) – slice the figs in quarters

1 lemon (zested)

8 ounces fontina cheese (grate using a box grater on the large size)

Sea salt

Fresh or dried thyme

4 ounces walnuts (chopped)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Honey (drizzle over focaccia prior to serving)


To assemble the focaccia

· Place the fontina cheese over the focaccia dough covering the entire surface.

· Next, add the sliced figs over the cheese.

· Distribute the lemon zest over the toppings.

· Add the chopped walnuts.

· Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh or dried thyme (to taste).

· Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the top.


· Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bottom crust is crisp and the top is golden brown.

· Drizzle with honey before serving.

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