Leek Focaccia with Feta and Toasted Pine Nuts is an easy and delicious bread recipe to add to this year's holiday brunch, lunch or dinner.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend spending lots of quality time with family and friends. I had such a relaxing mini vacay that it's taking me some time to get back into the swing of things (aka: real life). In case you guys are wondering exactly what kind of grand ol' time I had celebrating the holiday, this is what I did:
- I ate
- I napped
- I ate again
- I napped again
- Repeat sequence eight more times
Alright, that may be a slight exaggeration and I might have accomplished a few more things in-between all the eating and napping, but I will admit the most common denominator was definitely the eating.
Total overindulgence to the max by participating in two separate, yet complete, Thanksgiving dinners (one with the family and one with friends). I ate more food than any person in their right mind should. It was bad. Well, it wasn't that bad because all the food was kick-ass to the tenth degree but, nonetheless, it was bad.
After two days of the "stuffing my face-a-thon", I decided to push aside the leftover turkey and trimmings for a big pot of my low fat and low calorie Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup, that's chock-full of healthy, organic veggies.
As I started preparing it, I had a moment of panic that I wouldn't get my carby bread intake for the day, so I promptly got out the pure-white-flour-of-no-significant-nutritional-value-whatsoever and made this leek focaccia with feta and toasted pine nuts. So much for the idea of eating a single 100% healthy meal during this holiday season.
The leeks I used are from my last organic CSA share. I have two more left and am closely guarding them like they are Fort Knox gold bars. The fantastic thing about buying in-season produce directly from a local farm is the vegetables stay fresher for longer periods, so these leeks will still be good until I'm ready to use them.
I've held squashes, beets, and cabbage in a perfectly fresh state for months after they had been picked, which is so wonderful during the NH winter months. I'll be very sad when the last of my leeks are finally used up, but it's better to have loved and eaten a sweet local leek then never to have loved at all.
Hey, you may be thinking that there's a ton of leeks on this bread and it might be a bit of an overkill. Well, I like a lot of leeks. I sauté them until they are just cooked through, maintaining a slight bite and delicious sweet taste, then I (over)load them up on the bread.
It's probably too many leeks per a typical focaccia and I'm sure many may consider this to be an open faced leek sandwich. All that is just fine by me. The more leeks the better is my standing motto.
If you've got some beautiful fresh leeks laying around, do them a favor and make this easy Leek Focaccia with Feta and Toasted Pine Nuts. By the way, this recipe is completely vegetarian and can easily be made vegan just by omitting the feta cheese.
Leek Focaccia with Feta and Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water (warmed to 80 degrees)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 ½- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 medium organic leeks, cut each leek down middle and wash well to remove dirt; thinly slice white and pale green parts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and white pepper to taste
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the warm water and mix well. Let mixture proof for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the yeast mixture. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually stir in the flour mixture into the yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes on a floured surface until it is smooth and springy. Shape into a ball and place in a large bowl coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Turn the dough ball to fully over in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a flour sack cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.
- Gently push the dough down and divide into two equal pieces. Lightly oil two 10-inch round pans or a large baking sheet with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place each dough half in the round pans or free form by hand in the shape of an oblong and place on the baking sheet. Cover with a flour sack cloth and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Uncover and make deep indents across the entire top of the dough. Cover again and let rise until doubled.
- While dough is rising, sauté sliced leeks in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste, remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F/204C degrees. Place breads in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the breads from the oven and divide the leek mixture onto the breads. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the breads are lightly browned. Top breads with the feta cheese and pine nuts. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
Demeter | Beaming Baker
Oh gosh, Karrie, your focaccia looks so perfectly light and textured. I SO do not think there's leek overkill on this badboy. So cool to hear about how you enjoyed/used your in-season CSA produce to make this recipe. Can't wait to see what you come up with this year! <--here's me enjoying your backlog of recipes. 😉
Vineetha @ Mint and Mimosas
I love how simple the ingredients are, but how complex and layered the flavors must be. This sounds fantastic! Would be fantastic next to a great big bowl of soup 🙂
Thank you Vineetha and yes, it's wonderful with a big bowl of soup 🙂
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
I love leeks too! I just made a salad with them for the blog. I love your idea of using them on a flatbread...and piling lots of them on because YUM! Mm, I can just imagine with the feta and toasted pine nuts...who can resist??
Thanks Beeta and I love leeks in a salad. Yum is right! As far as I'm concerned, leeks should be in and on everything 🙂
Erika @ Love&Custard
Hell yeah Karrie, we don't do thanksgiving over here, but if we did, I'd want mine to be just like yours! If you can't eat and nap in these dark cold months, when can you?! Also, I LOVE bread and carbs in general, closely followed by cheese, so hello beautiful focaccia! I tried to make it myself once... It didn't go too well and I still don't really know why, so you're a hero in my opinion with this one, it looks perfect!
Eating and then napping is one of my favorite things to do! Hahahaha! You gotta get back on the focaccia bus and try again 🙂
I love focaccia and this is a very interesting combination of flavors. I have no doubt that I would love your recipe, since all the ingredients are on my favorites list 🙂
Thanks Simona! I was surprised at how well the feta pars with the leeks and pine nuts, but it might just be because they are some of my favorite flavor too 🙂
I absolutely, positively ADORE leeks!!!!! They're SOOOOO under utilized and I know so many people who don't even know WHAT they are!!
WHAT?!? GiGi, I think that might be your life calling to educate people on what leeks are and how awesome they are.
I love focaccia, I love pine nuts and I love feta! This looks amazingly delicious. Going to try this soon. Bookmarked!
Thank you Kushi and I love it all too!
And my standing motto? The more focaccia the better... and feta...and toasted pine nuts...so together - no meal could ever make us happier! You crack me up, girlfriend! I'm glad you got to eat and nap and eat some more over break - that is what it's all about!
Hahaha! Together we will stand proud (and sitting down eating lots of leek focaccia!) 🙂
Karrie, I am a leek kinda girl myself… I agree, you can't have too much. Your focaccia bread looks incredible. I would love a slice right about now!!! The toppings of feta, toasted pine nuts, and leeks makes it AMAZING!! Now I am going to go check out that Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup recipe! I have two beautiful butternut squashes that are begging for my attention! xoxo
I knew you would be a leek girl, Katie! Thanks and I think you would love the butternut squash soup too.
I am craving everything carbs, warm, and comforting right now! Growing up there was a restaurant we went to about once a week that had the most incredible parmesan Focaccia. The flavors you have here sound incredible though, the saltiness of feta with the sweetness of the leeks.. seriously salivating!
Thanks and I totally hear you Liora because I am eating so many carbs too! I guess it's what we are supposed to do when it turn cold 🙂 I tried to counterbalance the carbs of this bread with some veggies on top.
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Eeee! This foccacia looks amaze-balls, Karrie! Won't lie, I'm a little pissed off I am just now seeing this because you know my mother is in town. So I've been on entertain for every milosecond of the day mode, I've had no time to read blogs let alone breath. So glad I hid in my house and stole some alone time to visit your blog! You totally made me laugh, which is exactly what I NEED! And this foccacia? Giiiirrrrl, gimme some open faced leek sammie foccacia 24/7 and let's call it a day! Shiiiiiiiii looks delicious! Pinned! Cheers, #bestie
Thanks for liking my open faced sammie, Chey! Glad you got some alone time finally. Family visits are wonderful but so exhausting!
Kathleen | Hapa Nom Nom
You go girl! Sometimes all you need is a few days of nothing but 'eating and sleeping' 😉
I have a weakness for good focaccia and not only does the focaccia sound wonderful, but the toppings are absolutely divine! I could just eat this for dinner and be a very happy woman.
Is there anything better than eating and sleeping, Kathleen? lol! Thanks and I've eaten so much focaccia (and other carbs) recently that I've got to go on an absolutely no carb diet after the holidays.
Thao @ In Good Flavor
You are too funny, Karrie! I think you like leeks the same way I like cilantro...I tend to mound it on. The amount on this focaccia is perfect and adds to the beauty of the bread.tha
Thank you Thao. I love cilantro too and maybe I should have put it on this bread 🙂
Nicoletta @ sugarlovespices
I love focaccia! Probably as much as I love pizza! Love carbs in general and napping on the couch with one of the cats on my lap after a carb overdose 🙂 Your focaccia with seasonal leeks and delicious pine nuts is great!
Thanks Nicoletta and I'm so happy you like the combination! I'm sure you've eaten many delicious focaccia in Italy 🙂
I loveeee leeks! and this sounds that is just made for me!! I love the napping part after the eating! hahaha I think I would have made the same thing! cheers!
Thanks Gaila! I napped a lot during the holiday weekend but, in my defense, I expended a ton of energy eating. hahahaha!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
Girl, you are cracking me up with your leek love! Thank goodness you still have two more to hoard. I'm totally digging your open face leek sandwich! And what's wrong with leek ink on your bum?!?!?!
I might turn all psycho after I run out of leeks. It's not like I can't buy some in the grocery store but even the organic store ones can't compare to my CSA ones. I think leek ink is cool, especially on the bum 🙂
This sounds right up my alley - I love making flatbread A LOT but I've never ventured into focaccia territory, weirdly enough, even though I am ALL ABOUT the white flour!! In theory I know that white flour = totally devoid of nutritional value, but for some reason my brain constantly just refuses to acknowledge it. I think it probably has to do with the fact that whenever I've tried to replace it with whole wheat or other more nutritionally dense alternatives, the result just isn't as good. Like pizza dough!! As much as I would love to truly enjoy cauliflower crust or sweet potato crust or whatever other crusts are out there... my heart just wants white flour :p
PLUS at a Dutch supermarket you're lucky if you can find a minuscule bag of whole wheat flour nestled in the teeny tiny baking section - never mind any of the super healthy alternatives people rave about! - and the 'whole grain' selection of products is pretty much non-existent But the Dutch all seem to healthy - they're all tall and have great hearty complexions and they all seem like they could casually run a marathon without training! (slight exaggeration maybe) And they are apparently the only European population that isn't expected by the WHO to have an obesity epidemic by 2030, so I'll just roll with that justification!
I agree with you on white flour, Sophie. It makes everything all nice and fluffy. Although I like wheat flour bread, white flour is simply better in certain breads. That is so funny about Dutch supermarkets not carrying a lot of whole grain products. The Dutch know what's good & they aren't going to waste any time on healthy breads! hahaha
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
I love focaccia and I really really love pine nuts! I am going to have to try your recipe!
Pine nuts are so yummy! Whenever I use them for a recipe, I snack on more of them than I actually use in the dish.