Grilled Focaccia with Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Makes 8 appetizer servings or 4 main-course servings

Focaccia is almost the same thing as pizza, but it's usually baked with just a sprinkle of herbs and served as a bread. It's fun to grill the rounds of dough, which gives them tasty brown grill marks. You can cut the salad-topped focaccia into wedges and serve it as an appetizer, or place them on a plate and serve one focaccia per person as a main course.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad:

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup pitted and chopped brine-cured black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 pounds frozen pizza or bread dough, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. To make the salad, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in the oil. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, and basil and mix. Cover and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve, up to 2 hours. Do not refrigerate.

2. To make the focaccia, build a charcoal fire in an outdoor grill and let burn down until medium-hot. You should be able to hold your hand just above grate level for 3 seconds. In a gas grill, preheat on High, then reduce the heat to Medium.

3. Cut the dough into four pieces, form into balls, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured work surface, keeping the remaining balls covered, roll out one piece of dough into an 8-inch round. (If the dough is stubborn, pick up the round and pull and stretch it into shape.) Place on a lightly oiled piece of wax paper, brush the top with oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the other balls of dough.

4. Lightly oil the cooking grate. Flip the dough rounds onto the grill, discarding the wax paper. Cover and grill until the undersides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Brush with oil, flip, and continue grilling until the other sides are browned and the dough is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

5. To serve, cut the focaccias into quarters and place on a serving platter. Top each wedge with a large spoonful of salad. Serve immediately.

Comments are closed.