Pumpkin Pecan Gruyere Focaccia

Pumpkin-Foccacia3 It's been a few months, but I am still day-dreaming over the Tomato Herb Focaccia I made a little bit ago.   I enjoyed that delish dish with the last of my summer tomatoes.  Now that it's well into fall, I figured the perfect way to transform the recipe was to add some pumpkin.  Let me introduce Pumpkin Pecan Gruyere Focaccia.  As I explore more breads and pastries, I am having a lot of fun and creative freedom introducing more savory flavors to my baked goods.  This recipe makes for great as a snack or even breakfast.  It even helps turn a bowl of hearty fall soup or salad into a full meal!

Naturally, as with everything pumpkin, the focaccia was moist and flavorful.  To go with it, I decided to add in some shredded Gruyere cheese- both in the dough and on top.  The sweet and slightly salty taste of the gruyere is perfect for this dish, and the creamy, nutty flavors are beyond yum.  Chopped pecans add great texture and crunch.  Eat this straight from the oven for an out-of-this-world experience.  Or just re-heat a bit when serving.

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According to my father, the Tomato Herb Focaccia was one of the best things I ever baked.  When I told about this new recipe, he was  beyond excited to try it.  I am so happy and thankful that my family will be here for Thanksgiving, and I will definitely be making this again for dear ol' dad and company.  Who else thinks this Pumpkin Pecan Gruyere Focaccia would be perfect on the Thanksgiving table?

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Herb and Tomato Focaccia

Tomato-Focaccia Time to face the music.  I think summer is just about over.  If not only going by what my calendar says, mother nature is giving some clear signs for cooler climates.  I just "harvested" the last of my cherry tomatoes for one final summer recipe.

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Let's talk about tomatoes for a second.  Now you might think since I can cook, bake, paint, etc- that I am all-around pretty crafty.  Well, this is probably true for the most past- but a gardener, I am not.  No green thumbs for this girl.  However, this is first season where I actually was able to grow something edible.  I could not be prouder.  Every other time that I tried to have a garden, everything died.  I've mostly only tried herbs and strawberries, but none were ever sustainable.  I'd like to blame this on the Sacramento heat, but I am sure I had a lot to do with it.  About halfway into this summer, I bought myself a beautiful, little tomato plant for our pint-sized patio.  Luckily, this plant already had a few flowers blooming, which would later turn into juicy little gems.    I finally kept a plant alive long enough to produce something to use in an actual recipe.  That said recipe is this savory herb and tomato focaccia.

Speaking of things that I am not very skilled at, I have not had a lot of experience with baking bread.  As of now, I am 1 for 2 in terms of successful bread-baking experiences.  Well, I'll give myself a 1/2 point for my first try- I mean, it was edible and looked like bread, even if it did not taste very good.  I decided to give it a second go around, this time with focaccia.  With this focaccia, there is not too much kneading or rising involved, so I figured I could not ruin it too badly.  The whole process was fairly quick and surprisingly easy.  So on a rainy day last week, a preview of what the weather will soon look like here, I decided to bake and break bread.

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As mentioned, this focaccia was built around my proud tomato harvest.  These home-grown cherry tomatoes were so sweet and juicy, perfectly enjoyable straight from the vine.  I decided to throw on some caramelized onion and garlic, with a sprinkle of rosemary, fresh basil, and chunky sea salt.   The flavors perfectly balanced each other.  Notice that I did not use too much of any of the other "toppings," as I really wanted the bread to shine.  Really it would have been scarfed down just as quickly had I left it plain.  With the recipe being so simple, I don't think I will ever go back to store-bought focaccia after this life-altering bread experience.  And eating it warm?  Get out of here!  There's no comparison.

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Recipe adapted from Cookin' Canuck

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