I have an obsession with bread. Is it a healthy obsession? That's to be determined. My freezer is packed to the brim with different loaves of bread, yet I can't stop making more. But I'm not complaining because I can eat bread every day. Enjoy a slice of sourdough with butter, use challah for french toast, or focaccia for coppa focaccia toast with zhug. When you can enjoy an open-faced sandwich with whipped honey ricotta, an herby spiced sauce, and beautifully fatty coppa on homemade focaccia, you're glad that you store all that bread. At least I know I am!
Coppa Focaccia Toast with Zhug
- ½ cup packed parsley leaves
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jalapeno stem removed, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 slices focaccia bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 6 ounces thinly sliced coppa
- ½ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Maldon salt and freshly cracked pepper for finishing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Make zhug. Combine all ingredients in a blender including parsley, basil, mint, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, cardamom, lemon juice, and olive oil. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Combine ricotta and honey and whisk until well combined.
- Cut focaccia bread in half vertically and into 4 pieces. Brush 1 tablespoon oil on the open cut side. Toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rub garlic clove on cut side.
- Spread honey ricotta on toast and lay sliced coppa on top. Drizzle zhug and top with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Okay, so you don't have to make your own focaccia bread to make this coppa focaccia toast. Honestly, any good-quality bread will work beautifully. However, I was craving a loaf of fluffy focaccia and so here we are.
I do have my own focaccia bread recipe but I haven't shared it on my blog because I think there are many other excellent recipes out there. Perhaps when I think it can stand on the same level as those like Chef Samin Nosrat's I will share it.
Once you get your hands on your focaccia, start making the other sandwich components. Zhug is a type of green hot sauce and can include various spices and herbs. I kept my version on the mild side, using only one jalapeno. If you want to bump up the heat, increase the number of chilies. On the other hand, if you want to omit the spice completely, remove the jalapeno seeds.
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree it until smooth. Season the zhug with salt and pepper and set it aside. Personally, I think the sauce is better the longer it sits so if you have the time, make it the day before.
For the whipped ricotta, all you have to do is whisk together whole fat ricotta with honey. You can also use a food processor or blender.
You can use low fat ricotta if you prefer but whole fat ricotta tends to be more flavorful. I also found that whole fat ricotta has a thicker consistency, which is preferable for these coppa focaccia toasts.
Now I don't know if you noticed but focaccia is flatter bread than, let's say, regular white bread. So instead of slicing it like how you normally would with bread, we're going to cut it vertically. That way, you can still get lovely slices big enough to hold all of the toppings.
Brush oil on the focaccia and toast it until golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately rub a raw garlic clove on the slice to infuse garlic flavor.
Spread honey ricotta on the focaccia and pile on the thinly sliced coppa, zhug, sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts. Finish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
If you thought toast was boring, this coppa focaccia toast will change your mind. It's like a taste of Italy in one bite and I absolutely love it!
For more toast inspiration check out this fried egg tartine with braised kale recipe!
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