I went to dinner at a fancy pizza place with my parents and Dave a few months ago, and my dad ordered a pizza that seemed appropriate for him – cheeseburger. Because the more meat, the better! Hold the vegetables please, is generally his motto. Oh, I laughed and laughed when his pizza arrived covered in lettuce. He scraped it right off.
Not that I’ve been much better about the idea of salad on pizza. It’s a pretty popular concept, but so far I’ve wanted to keep my bread and cheese unadulterated by large amounts of greenery.
I guess when you’re already putting figs on pizza (oh, how I’d love to see my dad’s face if there were figs on his pizza!), arugula doesn’t seem so weird by comparison. It turns out that the figs and arugula work really well together. The figs add sweetness, the prosciutto saltiness, the arugula freshness, and the blue cheese…um…stinky-feetiness? But in a good way. In a very, very good way, in fact.
One year ago: Brandied Berry Crepes
Two years ago: Breakfast Strata with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Monterey Jack
The original recipe calls for fresh figs; since I used dried, I soaked them in port for a while to plump them. However, I’m not sure this is necessary.
Makes 1 12-inch pizza, serving about 3 people
6 small fresh figs, cut into thin slices
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
cornmeal (for sprinkling)
12 ounces (¾ pound) pizza dough (⅓ of this recipe), after its first rise
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 4 ounces)
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces stemmed arugula
1. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500ºF. Put the figs in a medium bowl and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar over them. Set aside.
2. Gently flatten the dough, then pick it up and stretch it out, keeping it as circular as possible. Curl your fingers and let the dough hang on your knuckles, moving and rotating the dough so it stretches evenly. If it tears, piece it together. If the dough stretches too much, put it down and gently tug on the thick spots.
3. Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal and transfer the round of dough to the peel. Rearrange the dough to something reasonably circular; stab it several times with a fork. Top the pizza with the cheese, figs, and prosciutto.
4. Transfer the pizza from the peel to the hot stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is spotty brown. Let the pizza cool on the peel for about 5 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar with the oil and a pinch of salt and pepper; toss the arugula with the dressing. Spread the salad evenly over the pizza. Slice and serve.