Traditional recipes

Courgette focaccia recipe

Courgette focaccia recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Italian bread
  • Focaccia

A lovely Italian focaccia loaf made from scratch and topped with slices of courgette and fresh mint. It's perfect for a family gathering or picnic. Use plenty of olive oil when greasing the baking tray - focaccia needs it in order to get crunchy.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 25g fresh yeast or 7g dried active yeast
  • 250ml warm water, divided
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 250g bread flour
  • 250g semolina flour
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 courgettes, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 tablespoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 or 3 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or as needed for greasing

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:2hr30min curing › Ready in:3hr20min

  1. Dissolve the yeast with half of the warm water and sugar in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
  2. Place bread flour and semolina in a big bowl; add oil. Pour in yeast and start mixing, adding the remaining water to make a sticky dough. Add the salt and mix again.
  3. Transfer onto a floured surface; knead the dough energetically, stretching and folding for about 10 minutes or until smooth and no longer sticky. Lightly oil a bowl, add the dough, turn to coat in oil and cover with a clean, damp drying cloth. Place in a cold oven with the light on (or in any other warm place), and let rise for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add courgettes, season with salt and toss to coat with oil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until just softened. Remove from heat, add the chopped mint and set aside.
  5. Generously grease a 40cm round baking tin with olive oil. Place the dough in the tin; turn to coat in oil. Then stretch the dough with your hands, a bit at the time, to cover the whole base of the tin. Sprinkle with salt and arrange the cooked courgette slices on top. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or longer in a warm place.
  6. Preheat the oven to 240 C / Gas 9.
  7. Bake the focaccia in the bottom rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Towards the end, lift the focaccia with a spatula to make sure it's turning golden; then transfer on the middle rack and finish cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Summary

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 16-oz. purchased baked focaccia
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 ounces sliced proscuitto, cut in thin strips
  • 1 cup chopped arugula

Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, thinly slice zucchini lengthwise. Place in a colander sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse and drain pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place focaccia on a baking sheet.Prink generously with a fork. Bake 5 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted and heated through. Remove from oven set aside.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, slightly brown zucchini slices on both sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer zucchini to a bowl. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, if desired. Remove skillet from heat. Add remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the same skillet. Spoon balsamic mixture over the focaccia.

Place focaccia on a serving tray. Top with zucchini, prosciutto, and arugula (arranging each in lengthwise rows, if desired). To serve, cut crosswise into slices.


Preparation method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast and one teaspoon of salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the lukewarm water. Mix until you have rough dough. Turn out and knead for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until soft and smooth.
  2. Oil a bowl and make sure it&rsquos well coated. Add the dough and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Punch down the dough with your fist. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
  4. Poke your thumb in the middle of each ball to make a hole and fill with one teaspoon of olive oil and stick in the garnishes of your choice. Press the garnish down very firmly. Place them on a lined baking tray.
  5. Brush a little more olive oil over each bun. Leave to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F/Gas 6. Push the garnish into the bun once more and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Courgette pasta:

  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and garlic. Fry the garlic gently for 30 seconds then add the cherry tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Use a mandolin or potato peeler to cut the courgettes lengthways (discarding the seedy core) to make long ribbons. Cut the ribbons into 3-4 strips to make linguine.
  3. Crush the cherry tomato sauce with a fork and stir in the olives and capers. Season with a pinch of salt. Take off the heat and toss the prepared courgettes in the sauce for a minute or so to warm and for the sauce to coat.
  4. Serve the courgette linguine topped with parmesan and serve with the focaccia buns.

My Honest Review of Alexandra’s Overnight Refrigerator Focaccia

This focaccia was everything I had hoped it would be, and it didn’t even require any kneading! Alexandra’s recipe was so easy and thoroughly explained that anyone — regardless of skill level — could follow it. It took 10 minutes of hands-on time, max.

I baked mine in two pie pans and they both came out beautifully. One of my favorite moments in the kitchen is tasting something you’ve just made and being shocked that your own two hands could produce something so delicious. Alexandra’s focaccia recipe gave me that feeling. The exterior was beautifully golden-brown and perfectly crispy, while the inside was light and airy. Just like her zucchini bread, this focaccia wasn’t trying to be anything other than a delicious version of a much-loved classic.

I will warn you, however, that this recipe require a fair amount of patience. While the instructions say you can take the dough out of the fridge after 12 hours, Alexandra recommends letting it rest in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours. Then, once it’s out of the fridge, it rises a second time for 3 to 4 hours. But trust me when I say the resulting focaccia is well worth it.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.


In this vegetable-centric (and gluten-free) dish, zucchini takes the place of the usual pasta. You can use green or yellow squash, or both. A handheld slicer makes quick work of cutting the squash.

Classic ratatouille, typically a side dish, comes front and center as the filling of these inventive tarts. Annie Somerville, chef at San Francisco’s Greens Restaurant, reenvisioned her original recipe by combining cream cheese with masa harina (dried corn dough for tortillas) in the crust, which gives it a rich toasted-corn flavor.


Beautiful courgettes

Place a large frying pan on a high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Peel and lightly squash the garlic clove and add to the pan, moving it around to perfume the oil. Slice the guanciale into rough 1cm chunks and add to the pan to let the fat render out. Trim the courgettes, halve lengthways, then chop into 2cm chunks. Stir into the pan, then season with a little sea salt and a good pinch of black pepper. Halve or quarter the tomatoes, deseed, and add to the pan. Pick, roughly chop and add the parsley leaves.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. This gives you a really fresh, delicious courgette dish full of life, just how Nonna Maria made it. Or you can turn the heat down lower and cook it for 40 minutes, so you get a deeper, sweeter, frumpier result, adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed. Both ways are delicious, and celebrate courgettes at their very best. Just before serving, taste and check you’ve got the seasoning spot on.


Focaccia With Zucchini, Zucchini Blossoms, Ricotta Cheese & Olives


I usually plan my weekly menu around recipes that I plan to test for my blog, and in general, I try to work on new recipes at least three days each week. There are also times when I throw together a bunch of ingredients that I have sitting around needing to be used up and surprise myself by ending up with a great recipe without even planning it. This focaccia is one of those surprises. I had too many garden zucchini and zucchini flowers in my refrigerator one day, as well as half a pound of sheep’s milk ricotta cheese that was expiring soon. I had already decided I wanted to make focaccia that day, so I decided to use up the zucchini, flowers, and ricotta cheese as toppings for my focaccia.

Since neither zucchini or ricotta cheese are big flavor powerhouses, I enhanced the cheese by adding fresh chopped herbs and some grated Pecorin Romano cheese. I also added some flavorful Taggisca olives to give the focaccia a salty punch of flavor. The ricotta I simply spooned on top of the focaccia just before it was baked which became little pockets of creamy cheese goodness once baked, and the zucchini flowers added color and interest. I thought this focaccia would taste good, but I was truly surprised over the rave reviews it received by everyone who tasted it. I have now made this focaccia three times this summer, and it has become a family favorite. Focaccia is a great bread for new bakers to try as it is so easy to make. If you are new to baking bread, you may find my tutorial How To Make Focaccia Step by Step helpful. I also have some other focaccia recipes you might enjoy browsing through.


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We&rsquove suggested using a freestanding mixer, as this dough is fairly sticky (this gives the bread its unique texture), but it can be achieved by hand. Grease your worksurface and hands with a little extra oil and knead for 10min, until dough its elastic and soft.


Zucchini and cherry tomato focaccia

At home I like to make a big focaccia and top it as I would a pizza. It's easy to make and feeds a crowd.

Here I've gone for a really simple topping of zucchini and cherry tomatoes — which are great this time year — all topped with creamy mozzarella.

I make focaccia instead of pizza as cooking pizza at home is rarely going to produce results like a pizzeria would.

Home ovens simply aren't hot enough to give the dough that initial heat like a wood fire or professional one can, which usually cooks at around 400°C. The intense heat gives pizza a crispy bottom and puffy crust, while the toppings just perfectly cook.

This dough requires very little active time to prepare but does need to sit in the fridge overnight where it will slowly rise. This long and slow rise results in a more flavourful dough and a really nice texture once cooked.

I make the dough in a two-step process — first I mix most of the ingredients just to a shaggy dough, allowing it to rest for a little while.

After that initial resting period, I add some salty water and incorporate it quite vigorously with my hands. There is a scientific reason behind these two steps which is rather complicated, but generally I find it helps to create a more expandable dough and one that is easier to work with.

ABC Everyday: Peter Tarasiuk

  • Vary your toppings depending on what's in season. Just be sure to keep it to a few ingredients. Tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil is a tried-and-true favourite, as is rosemary and potato or roasted pumpkin, gorgonzola and pine nuts. Too many toppings will result in a heavy and soggy focaccia.
  • Make two different flavours: If you want to make two smaller focaccia and top them with different toppings, simply divide the dough into two after it has risen in the fridge.
  • Be generous with the olive oil. The focaccia will soak up a lot while it's cooking and is what will give it its crunchy exterior, all while the inside remains fluffy.
  • Using plain flour. You can use plain flour instead of strong bread flour here but it will give the focaccia a slightly different texture and flavour.

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Julia Busuttil Nishimura is a cook, author and teacher. Her work celebrates simple ingredients, seasonal produce and the joys of coming together at the table. She's the author of two cookbooks, Ostro and A Year of Simple Family Food. Julia lives in Melbourne with her husband, Nori, and sons, Haruki and Yukito.


Watch the video: Focaccia Zucchini (December 2021).