Onion, Potato and Pumpkin-Seed Focaccia
Makes one 15-by-11 1/2-inch focaccia
Toasted pumpkin seeds provide a nice look and nutty flavor for this focaccia, topped with onions, paper-thin slices of potato and fresh thyme.
1/2 cup hulled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 large all-purpose potato
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup balsamic or red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes. You will hear a popping noise as they toast. Remove the seeds to a dish to cool.
2. Peel the potato and cut it into paper-thin slices. (If you want to prep the potato ahead of time, place the slices in a bowl and cover them with cold water to prevent them from discoloring.)
3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Being sure that the potatoes are dry first, cook the potatoes, turning them frequently, just until they start to brown around the edges. Transfer the potatoes to a dish.
4. In the sauté pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, stir in the onions and cook until they begin to soften. Stir in the sugar and continue cooking for 2–3 minutes. The onions should look soft and glazed.
5. Raise the heat to high and stir in the vinegar. Continue cooking and stirring until all the vinegar has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.
6. Punch the dough down (see recipe below) and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Stretch out the dough with your hands into a rough looking round. Spread the pumpkin seeds on top of the dough. Fold the dough over the pumpkin seeds and knead until the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
7. Roll the dough into a 15-inch-by-11½-inch diameter and place it on a large rimmed sheet pan or cookie sheet.
8. Stretch the dough out to fill out the pan and spread the potato slices over the top of the dough. Spread the onions evenly over the potatoes; sprinkle the thyme and pepper over the onions. Cover with a clean dish towel, and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
9. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the dish towel and bake the focaccia for 30–35 minutes or until the bottom crust is nicely browned.
10. Remove the focaccia from the oven and set the pan on a cooling rack. Cut the focaccia into wedges and serve warm.