Cherry Tomato & Basil Focaccia

When I had 80 pounds of tomatoes, I got creative incorporating them into meals. Sometimes I slice this loaf into squares to make sandwiches with fresh mozzarella cheese and deli meats.


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine canola oil, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough (dough will be sticky).
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cut a shallow “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes, a cup at a time, in boiling water for 30 seconds or just until skin at the “X” begins to loosen.
  4. Remove tomatoes and immediately drop into ice water. Pull off and discard skins. Place tomatoes in a small bowl; drizzle with oil.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle 2 greased baking sheets with cornmeal; set aside. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a 12×8-in. rectangle and place on prepared baking sheets.
  6. Using fingertips, press several dimples into dough. Pour tomato mixture over dough; sprinkle with basil, coarse salt and pepper. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  7. Bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 97 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.