This week is winter squash week here on Italian Food Forever, and the reason for that is that I was a little too greedy shopping for squash this week. So, over the past few days, I made salads, soups, and pasta with squash. I also made this tasty Focaccia with Roasted Squash, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola Crumbles. I cannot seem to get enough of squash lately it seems!
I usually make focaccia every week. I typically make basic plain focaccia that we can use as bread to serve meals or for sandwiches. Sometimes though, I just want to experiment, and I throw on some toppings depending on what I have on hand. I usually cut my squash into thin ribbons and put them on the focaccia raw to bake along with the flatbread. This past week, however, I had an accident with a mandolin that ended up with me having to get five stitches. Therefore, I decided to cut my squash into dice and roast it until tender before adding it to the focaccia. If you’d like to use squash ribbons instead, simply peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and then use a vegetable peeler to cut the squash into ribbons. Because sage and squash are an excellent flavor combination, I also picked some fresh sage leaves from my herb garden. After baking the focaccia more than halfway, I added some chopped walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, and a drizzle of chestnut honey I brought back from Corsica. I made one large round focaccia, but you could divide the dough in half and create two smaller round flatbreads. Instead, you could simply press the dough into a 13 x 9-inch pan. This would be a great option when entertaining this fall, sliced into thin pie-shaped pieces and served with a glass of sparkling wine.
Deborah Mele 2022
- 5 Cups All-purpose Unbleached Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Instant Active Dry Yeast
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons To Oil Bowl)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups Warm Water
- 3 to 4 Cups Diced Roasted Butternut Squash
- 8 Fresh Sage Leaves
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Cup Gorgonzola Crumbles
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Chestnut Honey (Optional)
- Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water.
- Add everything but the water into a large bowl and stir.
- Add half the water and stir.
- Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
- Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead with the heels of your hand.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliant.
- Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside.
- Roll the ball of dough around in the oil ensuring the sides of the bowl and ball of dough are both lightly oiled.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise. (I cover mine with a kitchen towel on top of the plastic wrap and sit it on a large sunny windowsill.)
- Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour or an hour and a half depending on ambient temperature.
- Line flat baking sheet with parchment paper, then lightly oil.
- Dump your risen dough into the pan punching it down to deflate it.
- Shape into one large or two smaller circles.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Drizzle about 1/4 of a cup of olive oil over the top of each dough round.
- Arrange the diced squash over the top of each circle of dough.
- Thinly slice half the sage and sprinkle over the focaccia.
- Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of your focaccia, and let it sit to rise again for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven.
- Sprinkle the top of each focaccia with half the walnuts and the cheese crumbles.
- Bake another 10 minutes or until the focaccia rounds are golden brown.
- As soon as the focaccia comes out of the oven, drizzle each with a tablespoon of chestnut honey, and top with remaining sage.
- Sprinkle the focaccia with some cracked black pepper, then cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
- Cut each focaccia into slices & enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 485Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 463mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g