Spring has long been a sort of “last hurrah” for baking bread. We’ve baked all winter and maybe we’ve even gotten sick of it. Ready to move on and welcome the warmer weather. But for me, a certain point in spring comes. The days are warm sunny and luxurious. And although the evenings still have the ice tinges of winter and I know it will be uncomfortable to turn on the oven very soon so I want to bake. Pepperoni focaccia open-faced sandwiches are a good compromise between a good spring bake and a fresh dinner. It’s simple. After the focaccia is made there is very very little prep. And you can serve them as a dinner board like I often do. I recommend this roasted garlic red pepper focaccia because it goes so well with the pepperoni.
Pepperoni focaccia open-faced sandwich recipe
Serves 4-6 hungry people. Can easily be doubled for a party.
Flavor profile; spicy, Italian, fresh
- 12 oz very thinly sliced deli pepperoni
- 2 medium, 4 small, or a cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 good handful of fresh green beans, french cut
- 1/4 cup good, fruity, olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon plus more flaky salt
- black pepper
- 1 loave fresh roasted garlic red pepper focaccia bread
To assemble as sandwiches:
- Cut the focaccia into 6 equal pieces. Cut each piece down the center lengthwise so you have 6 tops and bottoms.
- On the cut side of each bottom, spread some olive oil. Sprinkle on the fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Top with 2-3 oz pepperoni, a handful of green beans, and sliced tomato.
- Add the top piece of bread and feel free to give the sandwich a little smoosh so all the ingredients can mingle.
You can wrap the sandwiches in butcher’s paper and give them a rest for a few minutes up to an hour or serve them immediately.
To assemble a dinner board:
- Slice the focaccia in half the long way and then into 1/2 to 1-inch slices (method shown).
- Roll the pepperoni slices so they are easy to pick up.
- Assemble an assortment of small bowls and plates and a large tray for the bread.
- Add the olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh thyme into a small bowl or plate that’s good for shallow dipping.
- Add the green beans into a bowl and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
- Have some little pinch bowls of salt and pepper available.
I like to serve this meal in the middle of the dining table on a large marble slab that sits on my counter. The bread stays on the cutting board because it’s less fuss and then all the other toppings get placed around in a wherever they get set kind of manner. It’s really laid back and beautiful. Each person should be given a small plate and can start by dipping a piece of bread in the oil and then topping it in whatever manner they want.
I love serving just our family or us and a few this way because it’s so easy. Compared to pre-making sandwiches, there’s a feeling of abundance. Which is a great trick to serving sandwiches and not feeling any need to add chips on the side. (But sometimes I still do.)