You may know antipasto by another name. Charcuterie, appetizer, snack board, tapas, hors d'oeuvres, etc. Or is it antipasti? Above all, this Antipasto Focaccia has, and is, everything.
Antipasto vs Antipasti
Antipasto is the singular form of the word. Antipasti is plural.
Think of it like this. Antipasto is an individual appetizer. In this case, focaccia. Antipasti is a collection of appetizers like cheeses, cured meats, olives, pickled veggies, bread or crackers. Abundance. In conclusion, this Antipasto Focaccia is an antipasto but it is topped with a selection of antipasti! It's a deeply savory, loaded veggie focaccia that's as irresistible as any snack board.
💭 The Easy Secret
This recipe begins with a basic, bubbly focaccia bread dough. It doesn’t take much to make the base. Just a handful of quality ingredients. The real secret is in waiting. Once the focaccia dough is mixed together, it takes a long nap in the refrigerator. Additionally, the dough rests again on the counter before baking.
While the long rest isn't totally necessary, it gives the Antipasto Focaccia dough tons of character.
So, not much hands-on time is necessary. You really don't even need to knead this dough. The dough quietly develops and ages for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. It doesn't take much work, just a little planning ahead. The wait is worth it.
🍞 Key Ingredients
- Bread flour will give your focaccia a chewy texture, like a good pizza crust. All-purpose flour works too. But bread flour really amps up the chewiness thanks to the higher protein content.
- Yeast gives your focaccia its fluffy rise. This recipe uses a simple Active Dry Yeast to get the action going quickly. You can absolutely use your sourdough starter if that's your jam.
- Olive oil is an important ingredient in focaccia bread. Quality olive oil really makes focaccia. It adds depth in texture and a rich, buttery flavor.
- Salt allows the other ingredients to shine. As a result, salt gives the focaccia bread itself a whole lot of personality. I like to add sea salt flakes to the top for crunch and bursty bites of flavor enhancers!
- Time resting is the secret. If you allow the dough to age in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, it adds major flavor depth and loft to the dough. This gives the focaccia its signature open, bubbly crumb with just the right amount of pillowy chewiness.
Step-by-step Focaccia Dough
The combo of California Grown, Italian-inspired toppings brings big flavor and personality to this Antipasto Focaccia.
Antipasti is all about variety. A little bite of this. A nibble of that. It's the ensemble that makes this focaccia sing all of the savory praises. From buttery ripe olives to hot pickled peppers and bubbly cheese, this Antipasto Focaccia belts out variety.
🧀 Key Toppings
- Olive Oil from California. A drizzle in the bottom of the pan gives focaccia that delectably crisp bottom crust and buttery rich flavor.
- Cheese adds a bubbly, crispy layer to the focaccia. I like using a mix of Mozzarella and a firm, sharp, nutty cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino. This is a great opportunity to try some new types of cheese from California. Here I used a California Mozzarella and a sharp, crumbly cheese similar to Parmesan, produced in Sonoma County.
- California Ripe Olives are a must on this focaccia. They add a mild, buttery nuttiness to the focaccia. I used a mix of Black Ripe Olives, a true American classic, and Ripe Green Olives.
- Cherry Tomatoes from California bring a bright and sunny burst of flavor to the focaccia. Sun-dried tomatoes are a flavorful alternative.
- Peppers spice things up. This Antipasto Focaccia features a mix of roasted red peppers and zingy, spicy, hot pickled peppers. Both grown and canned right here in California.
- Garlic gets minced and mixed with the olive oil, scenting the focaccia with an earthy punch of savory flavor depth.
- Shallot or Red Onion is thinly sliced, layering the bread with a delicately oniony, sharp sweetness.
- Sea Salt Flakes add a briney, bright finish to the fresh baked focaccia.
- Fresh Herbs sprinkled over the focaccia layer in an herby fresh finish. I used basil, oregano and parsley. But thyme, rosemary or sage would all be enjoyable additions.
- Red Pepper Flakes bring a little extra heat if you want to spice things up a notch.
🫒 California Ripe Olives
These olives are unrivaled in their smooth, mild, lightly buttery flavor.
Known for their appealing flavor and slightly meaty texture, California Ripe Olives instantly give this Antipasto Focaccia a classic pizzeria-style combo pizza vibe. Who doesn't love a classic? Using a mix of black and green ripe olives gives this focaccia variation in flavor and appearance. With this combo of flavorful toppings, I wouldn't not consider this a focaccia pizza. Especially if you serve it with a side of Simple Pizza Sauce for dipping!
California is the only state in the U.S. that produces ripe olives for canning
When picked, olives are incredibly bitter. California Ripe Olives are canned in a mild salt-brine solution. Brining the olives removes the bitterness and transforms them into the mild, buttery gems we all know and love. The uniquely California-style olive brining process takes 7 days to complete.
October is California Farmer and Farmworker Month
California Ripe Olives are harvested September through November. So, olive harvest lands smack dab in the middle of California Farmer and Farmworker Month. However, California ripe olives are readily available all year round thanks to that brining and canning process.
It's a Party Bread
The word “antipasto” derives from the Latin root “anti” meaning “before” and “pastus,” which translates to “meal.” If you’re anything like me, you are fully satisfied with the antipasto serving as the meal. Which is what makes this Antipasto Focaccia super satisfying. So, it’s like a full meal in and of itself. But it can also serve as an appetizer or a side dish. No matter how you serve it, this Antipasto Focaccia serves.
Since it has everything, this loaded focaccia is a one-and-done recipe. The focaccia is easily adaptable, so it is a perfect recipe to bring to a party. Bake up a batch and slice it into 12 large portions or divide those 12 slices into 48 party-sized bites. You can even double this savory focaccia recipe for a great big shindig and feed a wholelotta folks.
This Antipasto Focaccia is all you need to bring to the party, people! Show up with a pan of this focaccia and soak in the love.
Hot Focaccia Baking Tips.
- This recipe is infinitely riffable. Feel free to swap other in veggies, canned or pickled veggies or try different cheeses.
- Focaccia is a recipe best served fresh and warm. But this Antipasto Focaccia will last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
- If you want to get a little saucy, serving this Antipasto Focaccia with a sidecar of Simple Pizza Sauce really ups the serving game.
- Love this Antipasto Focaccia recipe so much you want more? Try my Blood Orange Olive and Shallot Focaccia and my Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia.
This post was proudly made in partnership with California Grown and California Ripe Olives. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting me and the brands that I love. Follow @cagrownofficial and @calripeolives on Instagram to learn more about the foods grown in California, farm practices, and discover new recipes!Print