I had company over this weekend, so I decided to get all fancy and make a big loaf of focaccia and some tasty sauce to go on top. I’ve had mixed results with focaccia before, but this time I used this recipe for Poolish Focaccia, from VeganYumYum and it turned out very well. It’s very easy to make, and that recipe is very well laid out — it takes a long time, because you need to let it sit for quite a while between each step so the dough will rise, but there’s nothing especially complicated that you have to do other than wait patiently. The “poolish” is made by fermenting part of the dough overnight; it makes the bread taste sort of like sourdough, but doesn’t take quite as long (overnight, as opposed to several days).
My awesome friend Kayleen gave me this idea for a spinachy sauce to put on top of the focaccia. I recently acquired some smoked paprika, which is stunningly difficult to find, and have been looking for ways to use it. I played around with Kayleen’s suggestions, and this is what I came up with.
I sauteed an onion (chopped) and a bunch of garlic (use a lot, unless you hate garlic!) in Earth Balance soy butter (olive oil would work fine too). I added about a pound of fresh spinach leaves, a few handfuls of leftover kale, a cup of diced tomato, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, and some Braggs liquid aminos (you can use soy sauce if you don’t have Braggs) and stirred this all together, until the spinach had all cooked down. Then I added about 2 cups of nutritional yeast. It was still pretty liquidy at this point, so I added some cornstarch to thicken it, about a tablespoon at a time, until it was the consistency I wanted.
If you want to make this and can’t find smoked paprika, liquid smoke should also work. Just keep in mind that this will add more liquid to your sauce, so you may want to add more nutritional yeast and/or cornstarch to thicken it up nicely.
Now you can put the sauce on top of the focaccia, or serve it on the side and use the bread to sop it up. Yum!