This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small commission.
Focaccia is an Italian bread that has long been adored for its light and airy texture, topped with herbs and olive oil. As you explore the culinary possibilities for this bread, you might wonder what to eat with it. Well, you’re in luck because we’re here to give you some great ideas on what to eat with focaccia.
What is Focaccia?
Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread that has been around for centuries. It’s believed to have originated in Ancient Rome, where it was called “panis focacius.” The word “focaccia” comes from the Latin “focus,” meaning “hearth” or “fireplace,” indicating how it was traditionally baked.
The basic recipe for focaccia includes flour, water, salt, and yeast. These ingredients are combined to form a dough that is left to rise before being flattened, shaped, and baked. Over time, various regions in Italy developed their own variations by adding herbs, cheeses, and other toppings. One famous example is the Focaccia di Recco from Liguria, which has a thin, crispy crust and is filled with fresh cheese.
What to Eat with Focaccia
Sauces and Dips
Olive tapenade is a flavorful dip that pairs wonderfully with focaccia. To make it, simply blend together a mix of green and black olives, capers, garlic, and anchovies in a food processor. Drizzle in some olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice to balance out the flavors. Give your tapenade a taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.
Creamy Garlic Dip
If you are in the mood for something creamier, a homemade garlic dip is sure to please. Start by finely mincing or crushing a few cloves of garlic. In a mixing bowl, combine the garlic with sour cream or Greek yogurt for a lighter option. Next, add a little mayonnaise to enhance the creaminess and richness of the dip. Season with salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice to brighten it up. For an extra kick, consider adding minced chives or a dash of paprika on top.
When enjoying focaccia, you might opt for a classic cheese – mozzarella. This cheese is soft, creamy, and mild in flavor, making it a perfect pairing for the flavors in focaccia. You can slice mozzarella and place it on top of the bread, add it as a filling in a sandwich, or even grill it with your focaccia for a warm and gooey delight.
Mozzarella variations to try:
- Fresh mozzarella
- Smoked mozzarella
- Buffalo mozzarella
Another great option is fresh ricotta. Just spread a layer of ricotta onto the bread, add your favorite toppings, and serve.
How to use fresh ricotta:
- Mix ricotta with chopped fresh herbs
- Combine ricotta with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of black pepper
- Blend ricotta with roasted vegetables and serve as a dip.
Focaccia with Meats
Italian Cold Cuts
When it comes to enjoying focaccia, pairing it with a variety of Italian cold cuts is always a good decision. Thinly sliced meats like prosciutto, salami, and mortadella are excellent choices. You can create a delicious sandwich by adding meats on top of a slice of focaccia or simply place them next to your bread to enjoy the separate flavors.
Roasted chicken is another fabulous option to pair with your focaccia. You can either shred the chicken or slice it and place it on top of your bread. Add some greens like arugula or baby spinach for a fresh and crisp contrast to the juicy chicken and soft focaccia.
When it comes to enjoying your focaccia, grilled vegetables make for a wonderful and healthy pairing. You can select a variety of seasonal vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, and asparagus. Simply brush them with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill them until they are tender and have beautiful char marks.
Another excellent vegetarian pairing for your focaccia is a fresh salad. Classic salads to serve with focaccia include:
- Caprese salad: tomato, mozzarella, basil, balsamic glaze
- Greek salad: tomato, red onion, feta, olives, vinaigrette
- Arugula salad: arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, shaved Parmesan
Wines to Pair with Focaccia
A good choice to enhance the flavors of your focaccia is to opt for an Italian red wine. Wines such as Chianti and Barbera are excellent options to complement the bread’s savory taste and olive oil richness. These medium-bodied wines offer a nice balance of acidity and tannins that work well with focaccia’s texture and flavors.
- Chianti: Look for a fresh, unoaked version that brings out the cherry and red fruit notes, which will pair nicely with the bread’s herbal toppings.
- Barbera: With its medium acidity and dark fruit flavors, Barbera can be an intriguing match, especially if your focaccia has richer toppings, like cheese or caramelized onions.
If you prefer white wines, consider trying a crisp white with your focaccia.
- Vermentino: This Italian white wine has flavors of citrus, herbs, and a hint of salinity, which pairs perfectly with focaccia, particularly ones topped with olives or capers.
- Pinot Grigio: A classic choice, Pinot Grigio’s light, citrusy notes, and bright acidity can help to cleanse your palate between bites, making it an excellent partner for your focaccia.