This rhubarb and caramelized onion focaccia recipe came about by accident, an incredibly fortunate and tasty accident!
I was on a quest to find something savory to make with rhubarb. I was open to anything and eyed everything wondering “how would rhubarb pair with that?” Some dishes never made it to the testing stage – rhubarb mac ‘n cheese – I don’t think so! Some ideas I tested but ruled out right away – rhubarb with quinoa was not great. Some I tested and placed in the hopper for future tweaking – they may make it to the blog in the future.
It was while I was making a batch of Rosemary focaccia and shortly after having discovered caramelized onions on pizza, that I started to put together the idea for this recipe. Google confirmed that people have been putting together caramelized onions and rhubarb for all sorts of creations – chutney, sauce to top steaks, pork or lamb and even caramelized onion and rhubarb jam. With renewed confidence, I assembled my first rhubarb and caramelized onion focaccia.
That first test batch was actually on top of my original rosemary focaccia bread – look carefully and you can see the rosemary. It was good, but I realized I could simplify the focaccia and still have an awesome product.
Several tests later and you have the recipe seen here, a recipe I shared with the Manitoba Canola Growers, so you’ll see it on their CanolaEatWell site as well.
Rhubarb and Caramelized Onion Focaccia
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp 1 pkg instant rise yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 Tbsp canola oil divided
- 3-4 stalks rhubarb
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 red onions sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 5-8 leaves fresh sage optional
- Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, salt and onion powder. Mix well.
- Form well in flour. Add water and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil.
- Stir until ingredients are combined and becomes difficult to continue to stir with a spoon.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 6 – 7 minutes. Add more flour as needed to prevent stickiness.
- Shape dough into ball and place in oiled bowl turning to coat all sides with 1/2 Tbsp oil.
- Cover loosely with clean towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Using remaining oil, generously oil a 9 x 13” (23 x 33 cm) jelly pan.
- Roll and stretch out dough to fit pan.
- Use fingers to poke dimples into dough to bottom of pan.
- Cover with clean towel and let rest 40 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Wash and slice rhubarb in 1/2” (1.5 cm) diagonal pieces. Set aside.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, heat canola oil.
- Add onions and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook onions and garlic for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Onions should be tender, translucent and starting to brown with some red color still intact.
- Add rhubarb, honey, salt and pepper to onions. Continue to cook until rhubarb is tender but not mushy, about 8 – 10 minutes.
- Spread onion and rhubarb mix evenly on focaccia bread. Top with goat cheese and halved sage leaves if using.
- Bake at to 400°F (200°C) for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve warm.
Here are some photos throughout the process:
Slicing the rhubarb – 1/2 inch diagonal or there abouts.
Ingredients ready, focaccia dimpled and ready for final rising.
Caramelizing the red onions – okay not full blown caramelizing which may take a full 30-40 minutes, but you get the idea.
Assembling the focaccia, reminds me of plums don’t you think?
And finally out of the oven.
I really hope you take the time to make this focaccia. Yes, I know it does take time and there are a couple of steps – but while they take time, they’re pretty easy steps. The end result is pretty amazing. Highly recommend eating it while warm with the drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
When you make it, let me know what you and your guests thought. It’s definitely something you want to make when people are over because it tastes best the same day, makes a big batch and deserves to be shared with good people in your life.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.