Focaccia, the perfect “vehicle”

We have recently become enamored with a focaccia recipe we found in the February 2009 issue of Eating Well Magazine.  This seems to be one of those recipes that you keep finding more and more ways to use once you’ve taken the time to make it.  Fortunately, this is another no-knead bread option – the ingredients are stirred together well in advance and later put into pan to rise again before baking. In addition to dipping the bread in some excellent olive oil (we particularly like Le Fasce which we purchase at Williams-Sonoma), it inspired a new sandwich recipe, and became the base for a recipe featuring ground lamb, sauteed Swiss chard, and goat cheese.

The sandwich includes a Smoky Aioli that was made as part of a turkey burger that appeared in the August 2009 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.  The aioli has turned out to be as versatile as the focaccia since it also made a recent appearance in some grilled pizza.  Right now, however, we will focus on the sandwich…

Tomato_Focaccia_SandwichFoccacia, split and spread with a thin layer of smoky aioli

Add thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with sliced brie (outer rind removed)

To the brie and tomatoes, add some fresh basil, julienne and top with focaccia

We grilled the sandwiches on our pannini maker just until the cheese began to ooze out the sides, but they could also be done in a large skillet on a cooktop.  Turning them over may be a challenge, but this sandwich is worth the effort.

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