Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato & Beet Green Stuffed Focaccia

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Do you have memory foods?  Ya know…foods or dishes that remind you of a specific person, place or event?  Things that the second you think of them, smell them, or taste them take you back to memory?  I do!  I have tons of them!  Coming from a food-centered family, many things that we eat on a regular basis conjure up distant memories of family get togethers, grandmothers and a full belly.

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes

One of my memory foods is a rolled and stuffed foccacia bread from a small local bakery and Italian eatery down the street from my grandmother.  We’ve been going to De Marco’s for as long as I can remember.  Buying their delicious sandwich rolls, stocking up on Italian bread and as usual grabbing a loaf or two (or three) of their stuffed focaccia.  My parents would buy enough food from De Marcos and freeze it so it would last us until the next NJ trip!  Man…our car would smell SO good on the drive home!

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes

The last time I visited my grandparents in NJ I brought Dario along and of course we made the usual stop at De Marcos.  I gave him the tour and of course reviewed all of my favorites!  Mini pizzas, delicious sandwich rolls and tons and tons of hand made Italian cookies.  When we came across their stuffed focaccia I got so excited!  I hadn’t had that in forever!  I searched through all the different kinds…pepperoni and cheese, sausage and peppers, sausage and cheese…but no meatless ones.  Darn.

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes Not to worry!  Once I get an idea in my head…for food…I usually make it happen.  Thus my Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato & Beet Green Stuffed Focaccia!  I have to honestly say, I think this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever made.  Not sure if it’s because hot pizza like dough mixed with cheese and tomatoes is always good, or it’s actually a legitimately a good recipe.  Let’s go with both!

 

stuffed focaccia, cheese bread, healthy focaccia recipes The smoky flavor of the mozzarella and the earthy notes of the sautéed beet greens really make this stuffed focaccia shine.  Such depth of flavor.  Such cheesey deliciousness!  If you can’t find smoked mozzarella, no worries – regular mozzarella should do you just fine.  Serve with warmed marinara sauce for the most perfect snack on the planet!

Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato & Beet Green Stuffed Focaccia:
Ingredients:

  • 16 oz fresh pizza dough
  • 16 oz beet greens or other dark greens of your choice, roughly chopped
  • 3 oz sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven on the top rack and allow to preheat along with the oven.
  2. In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the beet greens, salt and pepper and saute until completely cooked down.  You may have to do this in batches depending on how big your pan is.
  3. Add in the nutmeg, sun dried tomatoes and garlic.  Continue cooking for another minute or two until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes are warmed through.  Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  4. While the filling cools, roll out the pizza dough to a 1/4″ thick rectangle.  Spread all of the filling over the pizza dough leaving about 1-2″ border.
  5. Scattered the sliced mozzarella evenly over the filling.
  6. Roll pizza dough, jelly roll style, making sure all the filling is secured inside.  Pinch the ends of the roll closed so no melted cheese leaks out.
  7. Lastly, rub the top of the roll with olive oil and make 3-4 small slits on the top for steam to escape.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dough is golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing.  Serve as is or with warmed marinara sauce.

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