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Pesto-Prosciutto Focaccia

Recipe: Pesto-Prosciutto Focaccia

Remarks:

    If you made pesto this year and have it in your freezer, break some out for this dish. If you don't make your own pesto, it's readily available in grocery stores these days. This is simple and makes a light, wonderful appetizer or even a light lunch with a salad.

    I start most of my focaccias with bread dough. I use frozen dough to make it an easy part of a bigger menu. You can make your own dough or use a pizza crust too.

Ingredients:

    1 loaf frozen bread dough
    Olive oil spray
    1 pkg sliced prosciutto (2 to 3 oz) cut into thin shreds. (Be messy. It?s okay.)
    3 Tbl basil pesto
    1 Tbl pine nuts (optional)
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    3 oz goat cheese

Instructions:

    Early in the day, remove the bread dough loaf from the freezer. Place it on a cookie sheet greased lightly with olive oil. Then lightly grease the loaf. Let it sit on your counter during the day while it thaws. While the day goes along, I periodically spray the loaf with olive oil spray so it doesn't get dry, but this is optional.

    When you are ready to bake your focaccia, turn your oven on to 400 degrees. Flip your focaccia over on your greased cookie sheet. The air will come out of your puffy, risen loaf and it will collapse. That's fine. Spread it out with your hands and make dimples in the dough with your fingers. You are spreading it to a misshapen form, probably an oval that will cover a size about 15 inches wide and maybe 10 inches--kind of an-out-of-shape pizza. The dimples are a good sign that you've shaped your focaccia correctly.

    Next spread on your pesto. Keep it one inch from the outsides because, when you heat pesto, it will spread. Just mush it around with the back of a spoon to spread it. Then spread the prosciutto on top along with the optional pine nuts. Scatter on your red pepper. Take the goat cheese and put it in fingernail-sized dollops around the focaccia. You'll notice you have a green, red and white focaccia--the same colors as the Italian flag.

    Bake your focaccia for approximately 15 minutes. If you like your crust doughy, it might take a little less time. I like mine crunchy, so I usually leave it in until it has a nice brown crust and the bottom has browned a bit.

    Serve it the rustic way. Slide it on a cutting board, provide a pizza cutter and let your guests slice away. Easy as pie--pizza pie.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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