Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula

There is no fruit nearer or dearer to this Italian’s heart than fresh figs.  I think most Italians feel the same way as I do about the delicious fruit delicacy.  Around this time every summer, I scour the stores in search of fresh figs; and I’ve been known to empty supermarket shelves when I find some because—blink, and they’re gone!

One summer as my daughters and I were putting a big dent in the 4 quarts of figs I had found at Whole Foods, I told them that I bet not too many of their non-Italian friends had grown up eating figs.  They scoffed at that because to them figs were as familiar as apples, bananas and oranges.  Surely, all the other moms were buying figs for their families, too.

About an hour later, one of their high school friends came over to visit; and I offered him a fig.

“What’s a fig?” he asked.

Hah!

A couple of days ago, I hit the mother lode at my favorite Italian grocery and scored a half case each of fresh Black Mission figs and green figs.  I consider myself lucky if I can find just one variety, never mind two!  With such a big haul, this was my opportunity to make a fig pizza.  I’d been wanting to try my hand at making one with prosciutto and goat cheese for a while but was dependent on finding fresh figs.

When I got home from work the next day, I immediately turned on the oven and using a Boboli pizza crust I threw together the fastest pizza I’ve ever made.  Originally, I was going to use some honey to drizzle over the figs; but then I remembered I had a jar of fig jam in my fridge and decided a thin layer of fig jam over the pizza crust was just the thing.  I cut up some of both varieties of figs and sprinkled some goat cheese over them.  I salted liberally to balance the sweetness of the figs and the blandness of the goat cheese and added a few grinds of black pepper.  Into the oven it went for 12 minutes; nothing needed to be cooked—it was just a question of getting the figs warmed and the cheese a little melty.

When I took the pizza out, I covered it with thinly shaved prosciutto which was delightfully salty and was the perfect counterbalance to the figs.  I threw a couple of handfuls of arugula (love its peppery bite) on top of the prosciutto, and then drizzled balsamic syrup over the arugula.  My only regret is that I was too hungry to take the time to caramelize some onions.

Roger and I cut it up and dug in.  We both agreed that it was one of the best pizzas we had ever eaten—even without caramelized onions which I think would have been a fabulous addition.  Next time…

So, hurry up and find some fresh figs—they come and go in a flash!

One year ago:  Grilled Corn and Tomato-Sweet Onion Salad

Two years ago:  Grandmommy’s Eggs

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza with Prosciutto and Arugula

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Ingredients

  • 1 thin crust Boboli pizza crust or your favorite pizza dough
  • 1 to 2 tbl. olive oil (just enough to coat the surface of the pizza crust)
  • 1/4 cup of fig jam
  • 8 large figs (can use a couple of different varieties or stick with just one type)
  • 4 oz. of goat cheese, sliced or cut into small chunks
  • 4 oz. of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Approx. 2 cups of arugula
  • 1 to 2 tbl. of balsamic vinegar reduction for drizzling (see my notes below)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400o F.

Coat the pizza crust or dough with olive oil.  Spread the fig jam over the surface to form a thin layer of fig deliciousness.

Remove stems from figs and cut into 1/4-inch slices.  Spread slices over fig jam.

Distribute goat cheese over figs.

Season with salt and pepper.  I sprinkled 1/8 tsp. of salt over the pizza and added pepper from several twists of my pepper mill.

Bake pizza for 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is a little melty.  Remove from oven and add prosciutto over top of pizza, covering it completely.

Distribute arugula over prosciutto, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Cut, serve and enjoy!

Fran’s Notes

If you’re using fresh pizza dough, follow the instructions for baking times for your fresh dough.

For sure, next time I make this pizza, I plan to add a layer of caramelized onions!

If you don’t have a bottle of balsamic glaze (love the stuff), it’s super easy to reduce balsamic vinegar to a thick glaze.  Just pour a quantity of balsamic vinegar into a pan and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat until you have a lively simmer and continue simmering until the vinegar is reduced to a syrupy consistency.  It’s absolutely wonderful drizzled on salad with some olive oil.

Source:   A frantastic original

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