Pear, Pecorino, and Pistachio Focaccia
I've been making different kinds of focaccia since my time in Italy. It's such a quick way to make a meal. Focaccia and a green salad are probably one of my favorite combinations to make. This focaccia is a great option for a dinner party too because you can make it in advance and have it ready to put in the oven when your guests arrive. It makes the house smell divine!
The combination of pears and pecorino cheese together was inspired by my time living in San Gusme. Both of these items were almost always available in the markets. The addition of the pistachios and honey makes it even more delicious. I like to use local honey or lavender honey if I can find it. The herb blend that I use on this focaccia is (of course) my favorite blend from Gardeniare - Love in a Tuscan Kitchen!
I hope you enjoy making and eating this focaccia. Keep in touch!
Focaccia with Pears, Pecorino, and Pistachios
3 cups all-purpose 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 has too much flour. Cover the bowl with a cover or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 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.
3 ripe pears (peeled and sliced thin)
1 lemon (use the zest and the juice)
6-8 ounces of pecorino cheese (grated using a box grater on the large size)
Sea salt or herbs (Love in a Tuscan Kitchen from Gardenaire)
4 ounces pistachios (chopped)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Honey (drizzle over focaccia prior to serving)
Place the pecorino cheese over the focaccia dough covering the entire surface. Peel and place the sliced pears into a small bowl together with the lemon juice and lemon zest. Next, add the sliced pears over the cheese – pour the lemon juice and zest lightly over the top of the pears. Add the chopped pistachios and sprinkle with sea salt or dried herbs (to taste). Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the top.
Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bottom crust is crisp and top is golden brown.