Focaccia with Roasted Beets and Maple Goat Cheese

The inspired pairing of slightly tart goat cheese and sweet maple syrup forms the flavor palate of this focaccia, dotted with an artful mix of golden and red beets and green fennel fronds. Wrapping the individual beets in aluminum foil for roasting creates mini steam chambers that lock in moisture and nutrients. Think outside the box and switch out the beets for any other favorite root vegetable—carrots, radishes, yams, jicama—for a customized variation of this delicious dish.

Makes 12 servings


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) packet quick-rise instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 golden beets
  • 3 red beets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp coarse-ground black pepper, plus additional for serving
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced; fronds reserved
  • 12 oz (goat cheese), room temperature
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped fennel fronds
  • 5 tsp pure maple syrup
  • Sea salt flakes, to taste
  • Coarse-ground black pepper, for garnish


  1. For focaccia dough, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast and kosher salt. Add warm water. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large rimmed baking pan. Remove focaccia dough from refrigerator; transfer dough to prepared pan. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, trim golden and red beets, leaving about 1 inch of roots and stems on beets. Scrub beets; pat dry. Drizzle beets with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and coarse-ground black pepper. Wrap beets individually in pieces of foil. Place in a baking pan and roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until fork-tender. Cool until easy to handle.
  4. Lightly spray another large rimmed baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place fennel slices in a single layer in prepared baking pan. Lightly spray fennel slices tops with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Roast alongside beets for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly crispy and golden.
  5. Rub skins off beets with paper towels. Remove stems and roots. Slice beets and set aside.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. Press focaccia dough into a 17×12-inch. rectangle in the rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread your fingers and make finger holes all the way through dough. Do not overwork dough. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
  7. For goat cheese spread, place goat cheese, fennel fronds and maple syrup in a food processor. Cover and process until smooth and creamy.
  8. To assemble, spread goat cheese mixture on top of focaccia. Top with roasted beets and fennel; garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.

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