Focaccia with Olives and Rosemary is an easy, delicious three ingredient appetizer or light lunch when you serve it with hummus! Pizza dough, kalamata olives and fresh rosemary bake up crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Pops of flavor from the briny, salty olives and woodsy rosemary transform a simple pizza dough into a standout dish.
I like to experiment with convenience foods and come up with quick meal ideas. Premade pizza dough is a perfect blank canvas for all sorts of ingredients! Have you tried it yet? Since I also like to make three ingredient appetizers, I thought I would use the pizza dough for an easy to make and share focaccia! It’s a great appetizer for entertaining too. Have everyone help with the toppings, pop it in the oven, then your guests can dive in and help themselves while you get drinks or dinner together.
Focaccia is an Italian bread and can be an appetizer, snack or your table bread for dinner. Unlike pizza, there’s no sauce and not a lot of toppings. It’s more like a flatbread with olive oil, herbs and sometimes other vegetables.
When you’ve only got three ingredients, you need to choose wisely to make sure they not only work well together, but have lots of flavor. Kalamata olives and fresh rosemary fit the bill and are also a classic combination.
Premade pizza dough can be found in most grocery stores, usually in the refrigerated section by the dairy or in the deli. It’s a great ingredient to keep in mind for busy nights. I used a whole wheat dough because I like the extra flavor it gives, but use whatever kind of dough looks good to you.
In a pinch you can use the tube of pizza dough in the refrigerated section too. The texture will be less chewy and the flavor will be sweeter, but it works!
Kalamata olives have a nice bite and more flavor than a basic black olive. Get them pitted if at all possible, it will make your life much easier. Fresh rosemary compliments the Mediterranean flavor of the olives and is also great herb to keep on hand. It lasts for quite a while in the fridge and can be used in lots of dishes.
And of course we have our freebie ingredients, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. If you haven’t made any of the previous three ingredient appetizers, part of the rules (completely made up by me, feel free to break them) are that these basic ingredients don’t count as part of the “three”.
The focaccia will be ready from start to finish in about 45 minutes. The beauty is that most of that time can be spent checking your email or otherwise pretending to be really busy. You can relax as you’re preheating the oven and letting the dough rest. All you need to do is take the pizza dough out of the bag and let it rest on a floured cutting board for about 30 minutes.
You can also use five minutes of this time to chop your olives and rosemary. Really, that’s all the prep work you’ve got! I like to chop the rosemary fairly finely to keep it’s big flavor from overwhelming the other ingredients. I like to quarter the olives to keep their size consistent and make sure you get a piece in each bite.
Once the dough is rested the fun part begins! Take the dough in your hands and gently start stretching it out. If it gets sticky, press it into the flour from the cutting board. Once the dough is in a rough oval shape, place it on a well oiled baking sheet. Keep stretching it (carefully) until it’s even and about a 1/4 inch thick. Use your fingertips and press into the dough until you see little divets.
The divets will help keep the dough from bubbling up as it bakes, and they look pretty too.
Next you’ll sprinkle the toppings on. Start with the rosemary and olives, lightly pressing them into the dough. Finish the dough with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper.
Pop that beautiful dough into the oven! In a short 8 to 10 minutes you will have perfectly browned, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside focaccia with olives and rosemary to share (or not) with your family and friends.
When the focaccia is slightly cooled, chop it into squares. I like to use my handy mezzaluna chopper for this. It’s the same tool I use for pizza and even desserts like bars and peanut butter chocolate krispie treats!
The focaccia is even better with hummus served on the side. It goes perfectly with the other Mediterranean flavors! It also makes a complete meal for lunch, or a really good snack.
Focaccia with olives and rosemary is best eaten the day you make it, preferably right out of the oven!
- 1 1 lb bag of premade pizza dough (or homemade if you'd rather)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup quartered kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for the baking sheet)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Pour 1-2 tablespoons olive oil on baking sheet to coat the pan.
- If using refrigerated pizza dough, remove from bag and set on a floured cutting board. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- After 30 minutes start to stretch the dough in your hands, pressing into the flour if it gets too sticky. Once you've got the dough in a rough oval shape, place it on your oiled baking sheet and continue to stretch the dough (try not to tear it!). When the dough is mostly even and about a ¼ inch thick, use your fingertips to press divets into the dough.
- Sprinkle the rosemary and kalamata olives on the dough, pressing them in lightly.
- Evenly sprinkle on two tablespoons of olive oil, then the salt and pepper.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned and crisp on the edges. Cut into squares and serve with hummus if desired.