Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

On last Saturday's episode of The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network, she presented a recipe for fig and prosciutto pizza. In her version she uses fig preserves for the sauce, mozzarella for the cheese and arugula leaves on top. As I watched her make the pizza, I knew that I wanted to make it but with a few changes.

For the past several weeks I had noticed that Central Market had fresh figs in large bins. I'll be honest, until I made this pizza I had never tasted a fig before, not even via a Fig Newton cookie. So until last weekend, I would look at the figs and keep walking. Now I have a reason to stop and pick up a whole bag of figs!

Knowing that figs were in season, I decided to replace the fig preserves used by the Pioneer Woman and instead use fresh sliced figs. Also, I'm not a huge fan of arugula so I knew that there was no way that I would eat a pizza with a large bunch of arugula on top. That said, by eliminating the fig preserves I now needed a sauce, so I decided to make an arugula pesto to use instead.

The final change I made was to use gorgonzola in place of mozzarella, largely because gorgonzola is often paired with figs so I knew it would be a natural fit. Unfortunately, I got a little too liberal with my distribution of the gorgonzola, forgetting that it would melt and spread. The result was a really strong bite of blue cheese in places. The overall flavors were still great, I would just recommend using much less cheese. I've changed the recipe below to reflect that fact.

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Fig and Prosciutto Pizza

Pre-made pizza dough (I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe)
Arugula pesto
8 black mission figs, sliced
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/3 lb thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to the desired thinness.
Transfer to a lightly greased baking sheet.
Using a spoon or pastry brush, spread a layer of arugula pesto onto the dough.
Sprinkle the gorgonzola on top, careful not to overdo it. If your pizza looks like mine below, you've put too much!
Next, place the fig slices on the cheese, being sure to distribute evenly.
Place in the oven on the lowest rack and bake for 12 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
Now place the proscuitto on top of the figs. The heat of the pizza will warm the prosciutto without the hardening that would happen in the oven.
Now slice it up and enjoy!

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