Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  




Whole wheat focaccia
Nothing beats the flavor or aroma of freshly baked focaccia bread. This focaccia recipe includes three mouthwatering variations: Rosemary, Garlic and Sea Salt; Feta, Kalamata Olive and Oregano; and Parmesan and Sun-dried Tomato.

1½ cups whole wheat flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons instant dry yeast
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons caster sugar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (+ 3 tablespoons extra for brushing)
1½ cups warm water

Topping 1: Feta, kalamata olive and oregano
6 kalamata olives—pitted and halved
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Topping 2: Rosemary, garlic and sea salt
1 clove garlic—finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

Topping 3: Parmesan and sun-dried tomato
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
3 jarred marinated sun-dried tomato halves—roughly chopped

COMBINE both flours, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine. ADD 6 tablespoons of olive oil and the 1½ cups warm water and mix well to produce a sticky dough. TRANSFER to a well-floured work surface and knead for around 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking, until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. PLACE the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour in a warm place (such as a hot water cupboard). WHILE the dough is rising prepare the toppings. PUNCH down dough with your fist, divide into three even portions and shape into three focaccia-shaped loaves on a large baking tray. USE your finger tips to dimple the surface and brush each with 1 tablespoon of the extra olive oil. TOP one loaf evenly with olives, feta and oregano; one loaf with garlic, sea salt and rosemary; and one loaf with parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes. COVER and prove for another 30 minutes in a warm place. BAKE in a preheated 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes. COOL on a wire rack.

More Variations:
Top the plain dough with caramelized onions, anchovies, olives, and thyme to create a Provençal-style focaccia. Or, top with halved cherry tomatoes and diced mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with shredded basil leaves and sea salt. Try other toppings like thinly sliced zucchini, mushrooms and red onions, or char-grilled peppers and eggplant. You can also use the dough as a pizza base: roll out as thickly or thinly as you like; spread sauce evenly over (leaving a border around the edge); add the toppings of your choice; and bake in a very hot oven for 10-15 minutes.

  Bruschetta with Tomato, Mozzarella and Anchovy. Crusty bread slices toasted and drizzled with olive oil, rubbed with garlic, and topped with tomatoes, basil, anchovies and mozzarella cheese.

  Mushroom Bruschetta. Bruschetta topped with pan-fried mushrooms seasoned with sea salt, cracked black pepper and flat-leaf parsley.

  Pan Bagnat. A Provençal sandwich stuffed with tuna, tomatoes, boiled eggs, olives, green pepper and an olive oil dressing.

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