Appetizers and Snacks, Vegan/Vegetarian

Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus

Nicoletta April 24, 2019

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Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus, fresh like a Spring day, simple and tasty. Perfect for outdoor picnics, brunch, snack, or to serve as an appetizer with other delectable spreads.

Song of the day: Per Le Strade Una Canzone – Eros Ramazzotti, ft. Luis Fonsi

Spring Focaccia with Asparagus

Spring brings with it warmer weather and fresh produce in the markets. Asparagus is a fantastic treat this time of the year. Versatile and delicious, with many nutrients but few calories.

 

 

Spring is in the air

Spring in Italy has always meant having plenty of asparagus and many recipes to make.

I am back to Canada but I still have some recipes to share with you that I made in Rome and were taste tested by my parents. Since my previous Focaccia with Cherry Tomatoes and Oregano was a success, I thought I’d give them another delicious one.

This Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus was indeed a hit and they kept talking about it for days. Simple, easy and fresh, we had it in place of our Pizza night but it can be perfect for brunch, appetizer, snack, or light lunch. A big piece came actually with me to work the day after and was eaten cold for lunch. Just as delicious!

Let’s get started on Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus:

Firstly, I made the focaccia dough. I made it in a bowl and used my hands to mix and knead. You can definitely use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or a food processor, to make things easier and faster.

Tips for a good dough:

I used active dry yeast that I sprinkled in the flour with a pinch of sugar, before adding the e.v.o. oil, the salt, and the water. Then I kneaded the dough for 10 minutes to make a nice and smooth ball of dough. I oiled a bowl, put the dough ball in, oiled the top and covered the bowl with plastic wrap. My usual spot to rest the dough is the oven, turned off and with the light on. It keeps the dough away from air drafts, and the oven light gives a nice warm temperature. The dough needs to rest for at least 1 hour.

Spring Focaccia with Asparagus

While the dough was resting, I prepared the asparagus. I washed them, chopped the bottom off (a nice chunk, you want to take out the hardest and more fibrous part) and cooked them for about 5 minutes in e.v.o. oil, garlic, and lemon juice. They are still slightly crunchy and so delicious. You might want to make more and serve them as a side dish!

Spring Focaccia with Asparagus

Ready to make the Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus pretty!

The dough has risen, the asparagus are ready. I chose a rectangular pan, oiled the bottom really well and spread the focaccia gently in it, using my fingertips to stretch it out. While stretching, I also pushed down with my fingertips to make little holes in the dough, peculiar of the focaccia. Those are the little “dimples” where the oil is going to rest.

Final touches

I brushed e.v.o. oil on the surface, then arranged the asparagus on the top of the focaccia, pressing lightly to make them sink a little. Use your creativity, I saw the top of the focaccia as a field and the asparagus as leaves of grass swaying in the wind.

Spring Focaccia with Asparagus Spring Focaccia with Asparagus

The aroma tells the story

The aroma coming out of the oven commences the waves of hunger and wanting to just tear off a piece and eat it.

But no, first there are pictures to take. The life of a food blogger.

Plain or dressed

When the focaccia is slightly cooled off I crumbled the feta on top. The salty pungent flavor notes of the feta greatly compliment the earthy yet rich flavors of the asparagus.

Wait, that’s not all. What balances and holds everything together is a light drizzle of honey. If you’re vegan, you can definitely omit both feta and honey and you will still have an amazing focaccia. But if you’re not, I highly recommend it.

Let’s not forget the foundation

That golden focaccia, soft and pillowy on the inside, with a crunchy crust and borders (my favorite parts are the angles!), which is really the canvas that comes to life with the aid of all the other ingredients.

Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus

Outdoor entertaining season is upon us -or we would hope, fingers crossed- and with that comes thoughts of what food to serve. This Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus would definitely be a highlight of the party.

Song of the day: Per Le Strade Una Canzone – Eros Ramazzotti, ft. Luis Fonsi

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Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus

Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus

  • Author: Nicoletta
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread, Pizza
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Spring Focaccia with Lemon Asparagus, fresh like a Spring day, simple and tasty. Perfect for outdoor picnics, brunch, snack, or to serve as an appetizer with other delectable spreads.


Ingredients

For the focaccia:

  • 500 g flour type 00 (or all-purpose)
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 50 g e.v.o oil
  • 5 g salt
  • 250 g lukewarm water

For the asparagus:

  • 250 g asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed

For the topping (optional):

  • feta
  • honey

Instructions

For the focaccia dough:

  1. Add the flour into a bowl (or the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer). Sprinkle the dried yeast in with the sugar and mix. Start adding the oil and mix. Add the salt and continue to mix slowly adding all the water until it comes together.
  2. Pour onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until you get a smooth and soft dough (I kneaded it for 10 minutes).
  3. Oil a big bowl, put the dough ball in, and with your greasy fingers brush the top of the dough. Cover with a towel (or cling wrap) and let rise for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size (I put the covered bowl in the oven, turned off and with the light on).

For the lemon asparagus:

  1. In a large pan on medium-high heat, add the e.v.o. oil. When it is hot, add the garlic clove, then the asparagus and a ladle of water. Cook without a lid for a couple of minutes or until the water has almost completely evaporated. Turn the asparagus with the tongs, put the lid on and cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and turn the asparagus over again. Put the lid back on and repeat the operation until the asparagus is slightly crunchy. It will take about 5 minutes total. Pour the lemon juice into the pan and stir. Remove the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Put aside.

Assemble the focaccia:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425° F).
  2. Grease a non-stick cookie sheet or baking pan with e.v.o. oil and, with greasy hands, transfer the dough on the sheet.
  3. Spread the dough in the sheet, pressing with your fingertips, creating little crates, until you reach the edges of the pan, always keeping your hands greasy.
  4. Arrange the asparagus on the focaccia, pressing lightly to make them sink a little.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until nice and golden.
  6. Let cool slightly and add the crumbled feta (optional if you want to keep it vegan).
  7. Serve with a drizzle of honey (optional).

Notes

If you don’t want to cook the asparagus first, just drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then, add them to the focaccia before it goes into the oven.

If you want the focaccia to be vegan, omit the feta and honey. You could just sprinkle fluer de seul on top.

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Spring Focaccia with Asparagus and Feta

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24 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Gloria | Homemade & Yummy May 6, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    The bread lover in me LOVES this. I also happen to LOVE asparagus. This would be a meal for me…along with a nice glass of white wine.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 9, 2019 at 9:10 am

      With my family in Rome, it was actually our dinner on pizza night 🙂 . We polished it off in no time, minus a little piece that came with me to work the next day 🙂 . Thank you, Gloria!

  • Avatar
    Reply Danielle Wolter May 7, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    i’ve never made foccacia before, but this has got me really motivated to try! love the asparagus on it!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 9, 2019 at 9:11 am

      Focaccia is so good! Soft inside and crispy outside, plus, here, asparagus! Yum! Hope you give it a try!

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise May 9, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Oh I love this recipe so much! Adding asparagus to it just makes it even better!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you! Every time I see it I am craving it again. Such a great one!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kylee from Kylee Cooks May 10, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Asparagus is the epitome of spring time recipes! I love the way you’ve used it here with lemon AND the foccacia!! #yum

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      I agree, asparagus and spring go hand in hand 🙂 . Thank you so much, we love this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Reply Amanda May 11, 2019 at 7:01 am

    I love that you sprinkle honey and feta on this tart. They both are the perfect finishing touch. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 11, 2019 at 7:56 am

      They are the perfect touch, the flavors balance so nicely. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply lauren May 11, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Making yeast doughs can sometimes be tricky so I loved all the details in this post! My family absolutely loves foccacia bread and I think lemon and asparagus are such a classic combination. I will definitely be making this for a weekend lunch or dinner soon!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 11, 2019 at 7:57 am

      It can be, but it is also easier than one might think. Focaccia makes the whole family happy 🙂 . Thank you for your comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jessica (Swanky Recipes) May 12, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I keep asparagus stocked during the spring and summer months. It’s my favorite vegetable because it’s so refreshing during hotter months. I’ve been eyeing a spring bread made with asparagus for months now but I think I’m going to try this one first.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:58 am

      Hope you do try it and let us know. It is so good, going to bake it again soon. Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heather May 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    This is the perfect pairing of focaccia and asparagus! Great flavor combinations and adding the lemon is perfectly refreshing and ideal of this warmer time of year!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:57 am

      We think it is a pretty awesome pair as well 😉 . Thanks so much!

  • Avatar
    Reply Markus Mueller May 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    I just got my hands on some fresh asparagus! Also, I have never seen focaccia with asparagus baked in like that. Love the idea! Does the asparagus not burn on top though at that high temperature??

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Not at all! Do they seem burnt in the picture? That’s exactly how it came out of my oven. Deliciously beautiful. And my asparagus are also always partially cooked. Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply Charity May 12, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    I can neither get enough bread nor asparagus, particularly with lemon. I had never seen focaccia like this before this, but I’m glad I had it.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:54 am

      Me neither! Lemon asparagus are a great side dish too. Thank you! I think it’s pretty 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Kylie | Midwest Foodie May 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Focaccia is my FAVORITE – but I’ve never thought to put asparagus on it. This looks like the perfect spring appetizer – can’t wait to try it for my next ladies brunch!!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you! It is a great appetizer. All the flavors are so nice together.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jacquelyn Hastert May 13, 2019 at 9:51 am

    This was perfect yesterday during our Mother’s Day brunch. I brought it along to church and I can home with an empty plate.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta May 13, 2019 at 10:35 am

      Thank you for your feedback! So happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it!

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