For my Saratoga Bite, I wanted to highlight Saratoga Springs’ namesake: its water. The minerality in Saratoga’s water gives our house-made breads and pastas a distinct flavor, and our focaccia is an expression of that. This is a great “beginner’s bread” for those wary of yeast baking…use quality ingredients and you can’t go wrong. Then, you can dress it up, like in this to-die-for vegetable panzanella. (Find recipes for the Focaccia and apple cider vinaigrette below.)
Chef: Ronnie Solevo
Restaurant: Solevo Kitchen + Social
Saratoga Bite: Winter Vegetable Panzanella with Focaccia and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Winter Vegetable Panzanella with Focaccia and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1 c. Honey nut squash
1 c. Red beets
2 Sprigs thyme
5 Sage leaves
1 c. Brussels sprouts
1½ c. Solevo Focaccia, cut into cubes*
**Apple cider vinaigrette
1½ tbsp. Toasted pine nuts
4 oz. Burrata
• Preheat oven to 400° F. Peel and dice squash and beets into ½-inch cubes. Keeping them separate, season with salt, pepper, thyme sprigs, whole sage leaves and
olive oil. Roast squash for 25-30 minutes and beets for 35-40 minutes until both are soft and caramelized but still al dente. Remove thyme and sage.
• Cut the stems off of the Brussels sprouts and peel back individual leaves. Season leaves with salt, pepper and olive oil and roast for up to 5 minutes, or until they just begin to brown.
• Toast cubed focaccia on a dry baking sheet until just brown and crisp. If you’re using day-old bread, there’s no need to toast. You want the bread slightly dry so that it soaks up the dressing.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine beets, squash, Brussel sprouts, toasted pine nuts and focaccia. Add just enough apple cider vinaigrette to coat.
• Stack panzanella high on a flat plate. Cut burrata into quarters, taking care to leave the creamy inner “stracciatella” intact. Nestle burrata into the panzanella and spoon over additional cider vinaigrette to taste.
*Solevo Focaccia recipe
850g All-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. Active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
Flaky sea salt
5 Tbsp. Saratoga extra virgin olive oil
Saratoga tap water
• Combine flour and 21⁄2 cups room-temperature water in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic and let sit for while you prepare the yeast.
• Stir yeast, sugar, and 1⁄2 cup warm water with a fork in a small bowl to dissolve. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.
• Pour yeast mixture on to the dough and mix until dough absorbs all additional the water. Add kosher salt and continue to mix vigorously for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and very sticky and resembles a thick batter.
• Pour 3 Tbsp. oil into a large bowl and swirl to coat sides. Scrape in dough with a large spatula. Cover and place in a warm spot until dough is doubled in volume, 2–3 hours or alternatively, allow the dough to rise in the refrigerator over night.
• Drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil over a 18×13″ sheet pan and use fingertips to rub all over bottom and sides. Using large spatula, fold dough onto oiled baking sheet. Using oiled hands, lift up dough and fold over onto itself in half. Begin to gently stretch the dough across the length of the baking sheet in an even layer all the way to the edges. Cover with well oiled plastic and let sit in a warm spot for 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
• Preheat the oven to 450°. If you have refrigerated the dough, remove and bring to room temperature (at least 45 minutes). Remove plastic and drizzle dough generously with more oil. Oil hands again and press fingertips firmly into dough, pushing down all the way to bottom of pan to dimple all over. Sprinkle generously with sea salt, or any other herbs and spices you would like.
• Bake focaccia on the middle rack until surface is deep golden brown all over, 25–35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula underneath focaccia to loosen from sheet pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting as desired.
**Apple Cider Vinaigrette recipe
2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. Apple cider
1 tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Whole grain mustard
1/3 c. Olive oil
Whisk together all ingredients except for olive oil. Once combined, begin to slowly pour in olive oil while whisking. Adjust seasoning to taste.