This elegant appetizer for special dinner parties is adapted from a recipe at Il Mulino, the famous, celebrity-frequented, deeply authentic Abruzzi-style restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village district ( 86 W. 3rd St. between Sullivan and Thompson Sts 212-673-3783)
Smoked Salmon Focaccia
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 (1/4 oz) package rapid-rise yeast
¾ cup water
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
Sea salt, for sprinkling, about 2 teaspoons
Smoked Salmon Topping
3 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
3 tablespoons Caesar dressing or to taste
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup fine-chopped onions
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard Sauce (recipe given)
- Lightly grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1cup flour, the 1/2 teaspoon salt and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar or honey over medium heat to a temperature of 120 to 130 degrees. (Rapid-rise yeast requires a warmer temperature than regular yeast.) Add this warm water to flour mixture and beat about 2 minutes on medium speed of an electric mixer or by hand.
- Stir in enough of remaining flour until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. If need be, add more flour. Cover with a large bowl and let rest about 10 minutes.
To make topping
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to fit greased pan, pressing into corners. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle dough with olive oil. Press indentations with a finger or the handle of a wooden spoon at 1-inch intervals all over surface. Sprinkle with rosemary, coarse salt and pepper. Bake in center of oven about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Toss lettuce with Caesar dressing and spread over cooled focaccia. Arrange smoked salmon on top, then sprinkle with chopped eggs, onions and capers.
- Drizzle with a mixture of ¾ Italian vinaigrette and ¼ Dijon mustard. Cut and serve.
Nutrition per serving (with Dijon Mustard Sauce): 478 calories, 49 percent calories from fat, 26 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams total fiber, 5 grams total sugars, 47 grams net carbs, 12 grams protein, 1241 milligrams sodium.