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Royal recipe: Grilled Vegetable Focaccia

Image of grilled vegetable focaccia in a picnic basket

When compiling the Royal Teas cookbook, Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and former Royal Pastry Chef Kathryn Cuthbertson chose recipes that are not only delicious and the perfect mix of wholesome and decadent, but also most importantly seasonable and with easily sourced ingredients. Obtaining certain ingredients can be trickier in the current climate, and we chose to share this recipe with this in mind.

Focaccia is generally accepted to be an ancient recipe originating in north eastern Italy; this quintessential Italian flatbread’s popularity spread throughout the country resulting in a wide variety of styles and recipes. This recipe uses a range of vegetables and another Italian classic, pesto, to create a flavoursome, colourful and healthy meal.

Share your focaccia with us by tagging us using @RCT on Twitter and @royalcollectiontrust on Instagram and Facebook.


1 500g (1lb 2oz) round focaccia loaf

(approximately 20 cm/8" in diameter)

3 red peppers

3 yellow peppers

4 courgettes

1 aubergine

4 large ripe vine or plum tomatoes

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 garlic clove, smashed

3–4 tablespoons ready-made pesto

½ bunch basil leaves, roughly torn

2 large pinches of sea salt and black pepper



Heat the grill or barbeque, depending on how you wish to cook the vegetables (we feel that you get an enhanced flavour from the barbeque). Put the peppers on the grill and allow them to blacken before removing and placing in a plastic bag to continue steaming (this helps to remove the skins).

Mix half the olive oil, the crushed garlic and salt and pepper together. Slice the courgettes and aubergine lengthwise into 0.5–0.75 cm slices and mix in with the oil and seasoning. Mix well to ensure the seasoning is evenly dispersed and then discard the garlic. Grill the aubergine and courgette slices until just cooked, and place in a tray.

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for ten seconds and then refresh in cold water. Remove their skins, which should now slip off easily, and slice them into 1 cm thick slices. Add to the tray with the courgettes and aubergines.

Remove the skin from the charred peppers (it should just wash off), discard the seeds, and break the flesh into long strips. Add these to the other vegetables. Mix together the remaining olive oil, sherry vinegar, pesto and torn basil leaves and pour over the vegetables, turning them carefully to make sure they don’t get crushed. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Cut the top off the loaf of focaccia, approximately 2 cm from the top. With a small knife, cut round the inside of the loaf leaving approximately 1 cm of bread intact around the crust.

Carefully hollow out the loaf, removing the middle, and leaving approximately 1–2 cm intact at the bottom of the loaf. Now start to pack the grilled vegetables carefully into the cavity in the focaccia until the loaf is filled. Put the top back on the loaf and wrap tightly with cling film, ensuring that it is well sealed. Allow to sit overnight before serving cut into wedges.