The Roots are not only one of my favorite bands, they are the class of my favorite vegetables. Roots and Tubers (which would be the name of my chickens’ band if only I would let them into a recording studio) are the very last thing the Earth yields before turning to stone for a few brief months. I think we may be upon the edge of deep cementing here in Minnesota. The chickens are pecking frantically at the soil like these guys in the Lumberjack playoffs. Full-neck whelps at the ground. If I had potatoes in my garden, they would have found them by now and added them to their hind quarters. Gratefully, I get my potatoes from Earth Dance Farm, and at one point, I had so many that I began to throw them willy-nilly onto anything I was making in the kitchen. Like this focaccia. Great result, as it turns out.
Tartine Potato Focaccia
Adapted from the Tartine Bread Book
Make the Tartine Country Bread dough
3 pounds waxy potatoes
1 ½ tsp salt
½ cup olive oil
1 bunch of fresh thyme
3 ounces pecorino cheese
Shape the dough as directed in the tartine country bread recipe. Let rest on a work surface for 30 minutes. Then cut the potatoes into thin, translucent slices. Place in a colander and toss with salt. Let stand for 20 or so minutes, and the potatoes will leech out copious amounts of water. Sponge it up, let it drip through the colander, and then toss the potato slices with pepper, olive oil, and thyme.
Preheat the oven to 500. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Transfer the dough to the pan and stretch into a rectangular shape—do not rip the dough. If it resists stretching, just wait. It will relax in a few minutes, and then you can try again.
Distribute the potatoes over the surface of the dough. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan so it can bake evenly. Continue until the potatoes are golden brown, 20-25 minutes total. Remove from the oven and top with shaved cheese. Cut and serve warm. Yum. I served this bread for a Calvary Episcopal Potluck, and it disappeared faster than summer in Minnesota.