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Focaccia with Grilled Asparagus, Pinenuts, Fontina and Blue Cheese

Recipe: Focaccia with Grilled Asparagus, Pinenuts, Fontina and Blue Cheese


Serves at least 6


    One loaf Rhodes frozen white bread dough
    1/2 bunch of asparagus (approx. 12 spears. Thin spears are best.)
    1 cup shredded fontina cheese
    4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
    1/2 small jar of pinenuts (about 1/4 cup)
    Olive oil to grease your pan


    Early on the day you plan to serve the focaccia, take the frozen dough out of your freezer. Grease a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides by spraying or brushing the surface with olive oil. Place frozen dough in the center of the pan and spray or brush the frozen dough with olive oil. Let stand on your counter to thaw and rise all day long. If you are at home, every few hours when you pass by just spray or brush the loaf again with olive oil to keep it moist. This isn't a MUST but it helps. Do not cover.

    Anytime during the day (or even the day before), spray the washed and dried asparagus spears with olive oil and grill them until they are crisp-tender. They will still hold their shape and be a bit crunchy. Sprinkle with salt (sea salt if you have it).

    20 minutes before you want to serve the focaccia, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

    Now assemble your focaccia. Take the thawed and risen dough (you should have a mound that has risen to about 6 inches high) and flip it over on the cookie sheet. Spread it and press it like you are stretching pizza dough. Spread to an oval or rounded shape (don't worry about it being even) and then use your fingertips (or knuckles if your fingernails are long) and make "dimples" in the dough.

    Cut the asparagus tips off to about 1-1/2 inches long. Cut a second length about the same. Save the rest for soup or something else. (Heat asparagus pieces in the microwave if they are cold.) Next, spread your ingredients on top of your dough. Fontina first, asparagus pieces second, blue cheese crumbles, and then sprinkle on the pinenuts. Bake approx. 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (Gauge it the way you like your pizza crust.) Slide it off the cookie sheet onto a cutting board, cut it with a pizza cutter in 2-inch strips and serve.

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