As explained in A Convenient Dough, the original recipe can be found in Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (a book to which I came reluctantly but which I found to be a good source of ideas and inspiration). Although it was love at first bite, I now make it with fresh goat cheese and I think it tastes even better. Try it and let me know!
If you have the dough ready (I use no-knead naturally leavened whole grain pizza dough which I keep in the fridge but you can buy ready-made whole wheat pizza dough) , it’ll take you 5 minutes to chop two shallots and set them to marinate together with a fistful of dried cherries (not the sour kind) in a bit of red wine diluted with water and seasoned with salt and black pepper , another 2 or 3 to scoop out a grapefruit-size chunk of dough and flatten it as thin as possible on a parchment-paper covered sheet pan or pizza pan.
Everything gets to rest for 30 minutes (including you) while the oven heats up to 450ºF/232ºC. Then you drain the cherries and shallots (blotting them out with a paper towel if necessary), spread them on the waiting dough (pressing down the cherries), crumble fresh creamy goat cheese over the cherries and shallots, add some more salt and pepper and slide the foccacia into the oven. Twenty minutes later (during which your kitchen fills up with a complex and delicate fragrance), I guarantee you will be in tastebuds’ heaven!
- Don’t overdo the cherries, especially if they are really sweet (I use Stoneridge Orchards organic whole dried Montgomery cherries and find that the foccacia comes out better with more shallots than cherries)
- If desired, paint with (just a drop of) extra virgin olive oil after baking.