Baking/ Main Course/ Recipes/ Seasonal Recipes

focaccia with caramelized onions, blue cheese and pear

I finally broke.

See, I really wasn’t going to cook that much at home. My moms much better, anyways. My plan was to pretty much wallow around in my sweatpants for two weeks and let her do all the cooking.

But then the other day I saw the perfect ray of diffused light come in the kitchen window and thought to myself, that lighting would make for a beautiful photo. I also caught myself staring way too long at the dishwasher and sitting in front of the pantry cross legged, chewing on dried apricots.

Something wasn’t right.

Finally, yesterday morning I said enough was enough. I poured a cup of strong coffee then pulled out the flour, salt and olive oil and greeted them like old friends. The second I plunged my hands into the soft dough, the scent of yeast rising in my mom’s warm kitchen, I sighed with relief.

I was finally home.

This focaccia is beautiful and rustic. It would make a perfect meal by itself, but we had it last night alongside some seared sea scallops and it was fabulous.

Are you a blue cheese lover? You should be.

I have a hard time eating blue cheese all by itself, but when paired with something sweet like honey or pears, I go crazy for it! Next time I make this focaccia, I think I’ll scatter some caramelized walnuts over the top right when it comes out of the oven. I love that sweet/savory combo.

I have to say, I liked cooking in my mom’s kitchen more than mine. Especially with the addition of a certain garbage disposal-like sous-chef!

Don’t worry, this one didn’t get any dough. I made sure of that. I guess I have a bad track record for almost killing family pets? Oops.

Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese and Pear

serves 6-8

1 cup warm water (about 100 degrees)

1 package dry yeast

1 tsp honey

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more to drizzle)

1 large yellow onion, sliced very thin

1 large bosc pear, sliced thin

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Stir together the yeast, warm water and honey. Let sit for a few minutes so the yeast and honey can dissolve. Add the flour, olive oil and salt and mix well, kneading with a kitchen aid or by hand (I did this by hand and it worked beautifully!). If you’re kneading by hand, knead for about six minutes or until the dough forms a smooth elastic ball. If using a kitchen aid, knead for about four minutes on medium/high.

Place dough ball into a oil rubbed bowl, cover, and let rise for one hour in a warm spot.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Caramelize the onions in a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil for about fifteen minutes, or until golden brown. After dough has risen, remove from bowl, punch down with fists and form a long rectangle. Dimple dough with fingers and drizzle about a tablespoon more of olive oil over top. Spread with caramelized onions. Layer on slices of pear and finish with the blue cheese crumbles. Bake for twenty minutes, or until the crust is golden.

I even did the dishes. Dishwashers are a beautiful thing.

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  • Ashton Keefe
    December 28, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Did you get this from December Food and Wine?! I saw a very similar recipe in their and it’s on my list of things to try. Pictures are beautiful, better than the mag’s 😉

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 6:16 am

      I saw something like it in the September issue I think but it had more sugar in it! I love the combination!

  • Baking 'n' Books
    December 28, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Looks good! Are you working at all while your at home (well, y’know, besides your blog). Still freelancing or working on book edits?

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 6:16 am

      yes! I’m working hard on the book as well..

      • Baking 'n' Books
        December 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

        Where do you freelance to or who for? I’d love to read your articles! Have you thought of putting a “Writing” section on your blog perhaps?…okay, I know that’s a bit oxy-moronic given this is ALL your writing, etc…but you know what I mean ? 😉

        • jenna
          December 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

          I write recipes and menus twice monthly for Health magazine! I usually send out the tweet when the post is up, but I’ll start linking them on the blog as well maybe. I used to write more freelance, but between that, the book and the blog, I have all I can handle right now!

          • Baking 'n' Books
            December 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

            Ah – understood!! That’s a lot! Do you enjoy freelancing though? Worth your time in money? I guess I should jump on the Twitter bandwagon…just can’t seem to do it…have you seen the cookbook out in Twitter “talk”. Craziness!

  • grocery goddess jen
    December 28, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Jenna, I just finished reading Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life”. Have you read this book? It screamed “JENNA!” to me. Enjoy your time in the south!

    • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
      December 28, 2010 at 5:45 am

      I *second* this book recommendation. Such a great read! 😀

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 6:15 am

      I loved that book!

      • Baking 'n' Books
        December 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

        I have that book but haven’t read it yet! Now I’m intrigued!

  • jenna
    December 28, 2010 at 5:32 am

    this looks amazing, jenna! Such beautiful lighting as well 😉

  • Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen)
    December 28, 2010 at 5:35 am

    wow…this looks fantastic! I also am a big fan of blue cheese when it is paired with something sweet like pears or honey!

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking
    December 28, 2010 at 5:38 am

    looks awesome! I still haven’t made focaccia, but I need to! Just got caught up on your previous posts – glad you had such a wonderful Christmas! 🙂

  • Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day
    December 28, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Beautiful… I just love pears in savory dishes..

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    December 28, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I *love* the idea of this meal! I’m the same when it comes to bleu cheese. Not much a fan, when it’s all on its own. But I adore it when it’s paired with something sweet. Preferrably pizza with pears, I’m thinking. 😀

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! 😀

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    December 28, 2010 at 6:03 am

    That looks really good – That would make for a great new year’s appetizer!

  • Felicia (a taste of health with balance)
    December 28, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Wow. I am bookmarking this.

  • jessica @ how sweet
    December 28, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Fruit, cheese AND caramelization?? This recipe was made for me.

  • jassy
    December 28, 2010 at 6:07 am

    i also like washing the dishes but manually 🙂

    you are home when you love what you do 🙂

  • Blog is the New Black
    December 28, 2010 at 6:08 am

    Genius, genius, genius!!!! Love this recipe! I finally tried one of your recipes last night, and will be sure to continue to try more!

  • Daisy
    December 28, 2010 at 6:11 am

    mom’s are the best and so is this Focaccia

  • Lisa @ Dishes of Mrs. Fish
    December 28, 2010 at 6:12 am

    This looks gorgeous! I bet it was tasty too!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    December 28, 2010 at 6:12 am

    That looks amazing. Bleu cheese is so so good. I am in love with it, on anything. And my new favorite is caramelized and pickled anything – the mix with bleu cheese is fascinating! Love it!

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine)
    December 28, 2010 at 6:13 am

    I looooove foccacia, so this is right up my alley. I also love your nail polish!

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    December 28, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Love this! I make a foccacia very similar with gorgonzola & onion confit. I love your addition of pears!

  • Amanda (Eating Up)
    December 28, 2010 at 6:28 am

    If you caramelized tuna, I’m sure I would eat it. I love that process. And blue cheese.

  • Cathy
    December 28, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I might have to make that focaccia just because of the pictures!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie
    December 28, 2010 at 6:35 am

    That looks like such a simple and delicious flavour combo. I quite enjoy foccaccia but I haven’t made it myself yet. It looks so easy!

  • Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
    December 28, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I love this flavor combination. looks delicious!

  • Camille
    December 28, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I find baking to be therapeutic, no matter where I am!
    The focaccia looks absolutely beautiful! I bet your Mom loves having you cook for her too 🙂

  • Candice L.
    December 28, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Focaccia looks amazing! And tell about the nail polish!!!

  • Angie M.
    December 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

    This looks amazing, my mouth is watering. I will be making it this weekend!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen
    December 28, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Wow. Just wow. This looks absolutely incredible!

  • rebecca lustig
    December 28, 2010 at 6:55 am

    definitely a delicious and tasteful combination! my kind of focaccia

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    December 28, 2010 at 7:02 am

    i just woke up, read this, and started drooling. involuntarily.


    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

      focaccia for breakfast! obviously!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    December 28, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I don’t really like onions, but your pics are making me droooooool!

  • Louise
    December 28, 2010 at 7:24 am

    The focaccia looks amazing, but your manicure is what really caught my eye. Love that color! Do you remember what shade and brand that is?

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

      thanks! It’s some new brand that I don’t remember of! The color is just a soft gray..which my nail girl said was “in” and I believed her because I have no idea about things!

      • Louise
        December 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

        I’ll be on the lookout for it. I always choose too dark colors for my manicure and they are chipped before I can leave the parking lot. This shade would be perfect.

        • jenna
          December 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

          I’m actually looking for the shade, too, if you see anything similar. This one is starting to chip and i wanted to repaint my nails before new years! Maybe OPI has something like it..?

          • Kristin
            December 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

            you dont know jacques 🙂

          • Kristin
            December 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

            you dont know jacques 🙂

          • jenna
            December 28, 2010 at 8:34 am

            I have that on my toes now!!

          • Kristin
            December 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

            you dont know jacques 🙂

          • Louise
            December 28, 2010 at 9:36 am

            It looks a lot like Deborah Lippman’s “Waking up in Vegas”

            Hopefully, there is a less pricey version out there somewhere.

          • Rebecca
            December 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

            I have a small essie nail polish set in “fall” colors from Bed Bath & Beyond. It came with a grey shade just like yours, along with a light greyish purple, a brown, and a deep red. It was my first time using Essie… I LOVE it.

  • Moni'sMeals
    December 28, 2010 at 7:33 am

    this is a great recipe! I just made a very similiar meal to this a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it. 🙂

  • Gabby (Quest for Delicious)
    December 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    You cook, your mom cooks…obviously a win-win situation either way. Totally with you on the blue cheese with something sweet thing. There’s this pear, prosciutto, and gorgonzola pizza at a restaurant where I’m at that’s totally awesome. I think me and this focaccia would get along just fine. (:

  • shannon
    December 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Jenna this looks amazing! The BF and I always make tons of snack like foods for NYE and this is going to be added to the menu. My mouth is already watering!

  • Jen
    December 28, 2010 at 7:42 am

    This looks awesome..I am inspired for tonights dinner menu!

  • Debbie B.
    December 28, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I’m glad you caved …. because this looks AWESOME!! My sister is an incredible bread baker and I am passing this on to her! LOVE blue cheese too ….. !

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    December 28, 2010 at 7:58 am

    The fact that you cooked sort of just b/c the light was perfect for food photography means your blogging brain never shuts off…that’s pretty cool 🙂 neither does mine…haha.

    The focaccia looks wonderful. Thank goodness for the sunlight that inspired this one!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    December 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

    That not only looks delicious but also incredibly pretty.

  • Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    December 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Blue cheese is amazing with something fruity and sweet. I love blue cheese and pair, they’re like the perfect combo together. This looks fabulous!

  • Lu
    December 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Hands down my favorite combination ever. I love pears with blue cheese or with gorgonzola. I will be making this focaccia as soon as I have enough time to dedicate to proper yeast prep. In other words, I’ll be baking this weekend when I don’t have to work.

  • Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal
    December 28, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful story, beautiful meal. I fall more in love with your food everyday. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Jenna.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    December 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

    DEFINITELY making this very very soon! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 9:19 am

      Miss you, lady!

  • Natalie O
    December 28, 2010 at 9:18 am

    The pizza looks amazing! I LOVE the combo of salty & sweet. I was in the Pillsbury Bake off for a pizza with savory & sweet flavors….prosciutto & apricot. It is delish 🙂

  • kindra
    December 28, 2010 at 9:33 am

    okay, i think i am seriously starring every one of your recipes for my list of to-bake’s…

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    December 28, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I may just have to get over my fear of baking with yeast so that I can make this!!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life
    December 28, 2010 at 10:21 am

    It’s good to hear that you’re feeling even more at home “at home” 🙂 I’m definitely saving this recipe to my favorites.

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    December 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    mmm that looks delicious!! i LOVE the smell of smell of yeast.

  • Christine (The Raw Project)
    December 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Awesome that you’re feeling at home enough to cook, but I prefer my kitchen over my mom’s. 🙂 This recipe looks wonderful.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    December 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Jenna, this is very forward of me, but can we just move in together already? We can go all little house on the prairie, have the time of our lives, and i’ll make sure you never run out of butter or nutella. Deal? 😉

  • Nicole
    December 28, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Beautiful, Jenna!

  • Sharon
    December 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    This looks great…but before I make it…a couple of things. First, I am wondering if in the first sentence of your recipe “Stir together the flour, warm water and honey” you actually mean to stir together the yeast, warm water and honey? Also there is no description in your recipe of the process for caramelizing onions…I think I know how to do it, but it’d be great if you included that .

    • jenna
      December 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      oops!! Sorry–I fixed it!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    December 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    yum!! This looks so delicious. What a great way to get back into cooking.
    Heidi xo

  • Alycia [Fit n Fresh]
    December 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Wow- looks goooood!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence
    December 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    this looks amazing!

  • Kasey
    December 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Wow! I’m drooling. This looks amazing. Im not much of a blue cheese fan but I’m almost certain I would love this!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    December 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I just realized that I’m in love with blue cheese, and that foccaccia looks un-believable.

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    December 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm


  • Candace
    December 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

    While I trust you that blue cheese is better when paired with something (I’m not a fan of it solo) I don’t think the bf will go for it. Any suggestions of other cheeses that could be used? Thanks!

  • Kaitlin
    December 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

    My sister made this over the weekend. Well, she made the one from this month’s Food & Wine… Delicious!

  • Jennifer Marsh
    December 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    I absolutely LOVE your blog! And I am infatuated with this recipe….I have Friday off and this is going to be my first attempt at homemade bread!
    From one Southern girl to another, please keep the recipes and stories coming! 🙂

  • Heide M.
    December 30, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Nice recipe. Perfect for holiday entertaining.

  • Emily
    December 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm


    The boyfriend and I just made this for a last minute dinner with some rainbow chard on the side. It was ridiculously delicious, especially considering how easy it was and how late we started it for dinner. This will go immediately into the arsenal of impress-the-out-of-towners file. And possibly my I’m-bored-and-hungry file.

    P.S. I mentioned that this recipe was from a food blog. Response? “Maybe we should start a food blog.” Love it.

  • Cristina Hartman
    January 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Just made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! My husband really liked it as well- that was all we had for dinner and he was content! Thanks!

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    August 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

    […] * Foccacia with caramelized onions, blue cheese and pear […]

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    October 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

    […] Focaccia with caramelized onions, blue cheese and pear {from Eat Live Run} […]

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate)
    April 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I just made this tonight for dinner and my husband and I LOVED it! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe.

  • Emil
    July 25, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I planned to make a focaccio for saturday night’s bbq but with capers and dried tomatoes. No I have to change the plan for your recipe. This looks incredible tasty!!!