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Smashed potato & rosemary focaccia from In Praise of Veg

Servings: 8
This is the kind of one-pan bake that dreams are made of. Salty kalamata olives and crumbly feta, grassy rosemary with surprisingly sweet new potatoes, coddled in a soft, focaccia dough that is actually quite difficult to stop eating. Serve this with a ‘cream of’ something soup and a simple green salad and your guests will happily call it square on the substantial meal front. Begin making the dough 1 day ahead.


  • 500 g new potatoes, washed
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 80 g pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 bunch of rosemary leaves picked, plus extra to serve
  • 8 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • crumbly feta to serve

Overnight dough

  • 450 g strong white flour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • tsp salt flakes
  • 375 ml lukewarm water


  • For the overnight dough, place all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix to combine until it forms a sticky wet dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool spot for at least 8 hours, or until doubled in size. If you’re worried about temperature fluctuations (especially if you’re in a warmer climate), leave the dough in the fridge for 12 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • The next day, bring the potatoes to the boil in a large saucepan of salted water, then simmer for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Strain the potatoes and return to the pan with the oil, olives, rosemary and garlic. Cook, roughly stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes, for 5 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and slightly golden. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Drain the oil from the potato mixture, over a shallow lined baking tray. Transfer the dough to the tray and stretch and press it out with your fingers. Pour the potato mixture over the dough and use your fingers again to squish the flavour bombs into the dough.
  • Scatter with salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper. Pour water into a heatproof mug or baking dish and sit it on the bottom of the oven to create steam (this helps the focaccia expand before forming a crust). Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  • Crumble the feta on top and scatter with extra rosemary. Drizzle with a little olive oil, cut into jaunty pieces and serve.


This super-easy dough makes a terrific puffy pizza base; try it in the zucchini flower pizza. You can also pre-boil the potatoes the night before, when you’re making the dough. Usually, I’ll boil up a double batch, and use the rest for potato salad or a fry-up.
Slice a store-bought focaccia through the middle, stuff with the potato and olive mix and crumbled feta, then squash down into a hot sandwich press to heat through. Or you can halve the dough (freeze the rest), then finely mandoline the potato and bake it on top. Quicker still, use a shop-bought pizza dough!

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