Give Your Focaccia an Earthy, Green Spin with Malunggay

April 2, 2018

Malunggay is praised for its supposed “superfood” properties—which are good and all, but there’s much more to love about the said herbal plant. Its nuttiness and slight bitterness works well in savory dishes (e.g., suam na mais) or in pesto, and its earthiness shines in sweeter applications (cakes, cookies, even ice cream) in a way comparable to that of matcha green tea. We’re here to convince you to cook with malunggay more often with a recipe that’ll make heads turn and tongues tingle: a rustic focaccia bearing both its telltale taste, and its eye-catching olive green hue.

Still have doubts about malunggay? It’s not too dissimilar to matcha.

Though fancy-sounding to many, focaccia is actually among the easiest, most foolproof breads to make. After 40-45 minutes in the oven (plus a few minutes of cooling), your focaccia is ready, bearing the grassiness of malunggay in the form of a crusty and wonderfully chewy sheet of bread. Savor a slice while warm—with or without balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping—or stuff it with cold cuts, cheese, or grilled veggies for a killer sandwich. You’ll wonder why you’d never given the eponymous green vegetable a chance.

Malunggay Focaccia​

  • Serves: 1 * 13x18 loaf
  • Active time: 30
  • Total time: 3-4 hours
  • Difficulty: Medium


  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup malunggay powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil


  1. Take 1 cup of warm water and place in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Lightly whisk the yeast into the warm water and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.
  3. While yeast is activating, whisk together flour, malunggay powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the flour mixture into the yeast mixture along with the remaining 2 ½ cups water.
  5. Knead on medium speed until a sticky dough forms, about 5-8 minutes.
  6. Add half of the olive oil and knead into the dough until just more than half is incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  7. Cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm spot to proof for 3-4 hours or until more than doubled in size.
  8. Pour the remaining olive oil onto a 13×18 cookie sheet (rimmed).
  9. Take the risen dough and transfer onto the oiled sheet.
  10. With your fingers, spread out the dough out to the edges of the sheet, making dimples in the dough with your fingertips.
  11. Preheat your oven to 450 F and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
  12. Place the dough in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
Patricia Baes SEE AUTHOR Patricia Baes

Trish thinks too much about everything—truth, existence.....and what’s on her plate. Her ongoing quest for a better relationship with food has led to a passion for cooking, gastronomy, and a newfound interest in its politics. She dreams of perfecting the art of making soufflé with her crappy toaster oven.

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