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Tomato Focaccia

 

Rich with toasty yeast flavor and fragrant with tomato harvest sweetness, this seasonal focaccia is a simple bread you can make in a home oven that may be better than at your local bakery.

 

Once upon a time, heirloom tomatoes were not the common commodity we know them as today. Mid to late summer marked the start of a magically unpredictable season of irregularly-shaped, blemished fruits when I was a kid in Seattle, and consistent was not a word I’d use to describe them. Juicy, delicious and sweet certainly were however, even from the ugliest pick of the litter.

 

Required to be packed by hand, heirloom tomatoes are a more labor intensive and time consuming crop that, luckily for us, more and more farmers have taken on since back then. The fruit harvested in July was actually planted back in March and April, planted in stages to extend the harvest season.

 

When the weather is perfect as it is on rare days in July, there is nothing more satisfying than buying a ripe, unruly heirloom tomato from the local farmers market. Purple, brandywine or yellow blush varieties will all do in this recipe, but I typically reach for the reddest, most uniformly-shaped for my tomato focaccia.

 

If for some reason you have leftover bread, this panzanella recipe can help you use it up in a tasty way.

 

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