I love radishes eaten in a very simple fashion. Bread, cold butter, sliced radishes and sea salt. But, if I were to present the radish in this way, as I did here, I would be not be challenged. The only reason I even came up with a radish focaccia was trying to think outside the box and play with this challenge.
What if I took the same basic components and got a little more exciting. Bread, fat, radish and salt, might become focaccia with olive oil, radish and nori sea salt. Nori is used most commonly in sushi, but I’ll bet you never had it flavor your focaccia.
When I was in San Francisco for the Food Buzz Festival, I did something I normally shy away from and I turned into my mother. Retro Rose is the queen of getting things for free. I found myself taking on her ways as I hung out at the booth of La Mar’s Mendocino Seasoning Company and begged them to give me a jar of Nori sea salt to take home. I managed to get my jar, but she most likely would have walked away with five or six delicious treats. I only wanted the Nori sea salt, because the flavor grabbed me and I couldn’t stop sampling.
It’s a briny combination of edible sea weed, toasted sesame seeds and sea salt, and when placed in olive oil, it’s the most unique marinade, dipping sauce or focaccia topping. It does an incredible flavor build to roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or radishes. When I was thinking about putting radishes on top of a focaccia, it just made sense to combine these flavors.
Follow the directions for the dough. While it is rising:
Mix nori sea salt and olive together. Set aside.
Slice radishes. Marinate in some of the olive oil, salt mixture. You can go paper thin or thicker. If you do slice thinly, do multiple layers of radishes and be sure to overlap.
After the final rise, poke holes into focaccia, brush olive oil and nori sea salt mixture. Bake without radishes, until last ten minutes of baking.
Take out of oven with ten minutes to go, layer on radishes, sprinkle with scallions.
Serve with dipping dish of more olive oil and nori sea salt.
Fusion Focaccia with Radishes and Nori Sea Salt
- 1 cup warm water divided 1/4 and 3/4
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 1/4 cups flour bread flour or all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t sea salt
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil for dough
- 2-4 T extra virgin olive oil for baking
- 1 Large bunch of radishes (enough to cover approximate 9 inch square pan
- 1 Bunch of diced spring onions
- 2 T Nori sea salt mixture can use another flavored salt or just sea salt
- Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water for ten minutes. Add 1 cup flour, salt, 2 T olive oil and mix well with hands. Add in remaining flour and water. If kneading by hand, knead for 10 minutes. At this point you can put into food processor or kitchen aid with hook attachment. Mix until dough is soft and pliable.
- Allow to rest for 90 minutes to 2 hours in bowl covered with damp towel (in warm place).
- Thinly slice radishes and marinate in some of the olive oil mixture. I used a mandoline to slice, but you can also use thicker slices. If you use thin, be sure to overlap and even double up. More is best, as the radishes will shrink.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees 30 minutes before baking time.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of nori sea salt with 4 T of olive oil. (You can use more or less as you prefer).
- Punch down, and put dough into bakeware, approximately two inches high. Impress with fingertip holes and then brush with olive oil/nori salt mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add radishes and spring onion. Bake for another 10 minutes.
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