Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roasted Fig and Carmelized Onion Pizzas with Toasted Pecans, Guyere and Mozzarella Cheeses and Fresh Basil

Fresh figs have been on my dinner menu a lot lately.  I love them roasted the most...sometimes even for dessert, broiled, drizzled with a touch of honey and sprinkled with some good Roquefort!  Last night however, I decided to make pizza, and include the figs on it.  Figs are delicious on pizza!  The first time I expirienced them on the flatbread was at Fig's Restaurant in Boston actually.  It was one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten!  That was also because they have a wonderful oven that bakes it at the perfect temperature, but the figs on the pizza added something special.  The pizza I made last night was similar in flavors.  I added carmelized onions, and gruyere cheese for some interesting flavors, as well as some fresh basil to top it off, since I still have it growing on my Patio.  It was a delicious and simple combination, the salty cheese, the sweet figs, and savory onions along with the herby basil...heavenly!  Comfort food of the best type!  It was just the type of food I needed after a stressful day at work.  Try it out if you have access to fresh figs! 

Roasted Fig and Carmelized Onion Pizzas with Toasted Pecans, Guyere and Mozzarella Cheeses and Fresh Basil

Makes 2 10 inch pizzas

14 fresh figs, halved
extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 whole wheat pizza crusts store bought or home-made*
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz shredded Gruyere cheese
about 4 fresh large basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

A good quality pizza stone is essential to a crispy crust. Place the stone on the highest rack in the oven, then crank up the heat as high as possible at least an hour before baking the pizza (but if you don't have a stone, still use the top rack, but you will need to leave the pizza on a sheet pan to bake). Line a sheet pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. Spread figs out on it, and roast until softened, and starting to brown at edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a medium non-stick skillet, heat a little olive oil, on medium heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes until browned, softened and caramelly. Add garlic and cook for a minute more, until fragrant, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Remove from heat.  To assemble pizzas, place one piece of the dough on a piece of parchment paper, spray rolling pin with non-stick spray and roll out as thin as possible (about 10 inches is best) Repeat with other piece of dough using another sheet of parchment. Sprinkle salt and pepper over crust, then scatter over the figs, onions, then the mozzarella and gruyere. Using a pizza peel, or an upside down sheet pan, carefully slide the dough (keeping it on the parchment) into the oven. Bake for about 3-5 minutes, or until crust is starting to brown and cheese is bubbling. Carefully slide the parchment onto a sheet pan or pizza peel to remove from oven. Scatter the basil over the pizza and serve!

*Amy's Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Makes 8 10 inch crusts

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Pkgs rapid-rise yeast
2 cups warm water

To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the water and then dissolve the yeast in the water. Gradually stir the flour into the water mixture, until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Oil a large bowl with olive oil, then place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, such as near the oven, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When dough has risen, punch down and divide into 8 pieces. You can either freeze the dough in individual portions (just place in ziplock bags and take out the night before you want to use it, then it will be ready to use the next day), or set aside to use right away. If making the recipe above, you will need two crusts.


Susi said...

Awesome looking pizza with an incredible flavor combination! I'm making note of this :o)

Stella said...

Yum Amy, this pizza looks extra delicious. Especially since I love fruit with cheese and such. But I don't understand why I'm seeing so many figs on blogs lately. They're falling out of season in Ga I thought?! Maybe in California or something...

Amy said...

Funny how the seasonal produce selection differs! They are widely available in MN right now.