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Friday, August 15, 2014

Balsamic Fig and Arugula Pizza

When I enjoy something, I can't just 'like' it, I have to 'LOVE' it.  And when I love it, I think about it constantly, talk about it annoyingly and just let it consume me completely. The 'it' I keep referring to in this case is my current obsession: fresh figs! I heart them with all my heart. So much so that I refuse to look up the calorie count for figs because I want to eat them without mentally calculating anything.

Since I'm obsessed (rightfully so) I try to figure out how to incorporate them into every food category possible. Fig jam has been a long time favorite of mine, and if you haven't tried Trader Joe's fig butter, I suggest you run over there now and grab a jar.  Fig balsamic vinegar came next, found in specialty shops and farmer's markets. Dried figs are a must in my home, and soon I'll share my fig truffles recipe with you guys.

But, I bring you my latest and greatest.  I thought about this recipe and researched "the internets" long and hard for the best combination. There's nothing like this out there, I'm very pleased to admit ;)  The sweetness of the honey blends perfectly with the softness of the figs, and the balsamic glaze is a tart and sweet combination to the figs. The smoked mozzarella adds another dynamic of flavor that is mellowed out with the creamy ricotta. The crunch of the nuts, the tang of the red onion...this pizza is a culinary delight to your taste buds!

Makes 1 pizza

-1/2 cup cornmeal (optional)
-1 pound fresh pizza dough
-1/4 cup honey
-8 ounces smoked mozzarella log, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
-8 ounces ricotta cheese
-2 cups fresh figs, cut in half or quartered
-1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar (or best quality, thick vinegar glaze you can obtain)
-2 cups arugula
-1/4 cup finely diced red onion
-1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
-1/3 cup chopped walnuts
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

To make
-Preheat oven to whatever temperature you bake your dough. I usually bake mine at 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with non stick spray and sprinkle cornmeal over the pan. Shake the cornmeal around and tap out the excess into a sink. Stretch out your pizza dough and bake halfway on LOWER rack in the oven, about 6-8 minutes for my dough.
-Remove half baked pizza dough from the oven and arrange sliced mozzarella diagonally on the crust, about 1 inch apart across the dough. Then spread ricotta in the gaps between the mozzarella pieces. Arrange figs, flesh side down, on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the pizza with black pepper. Return to the oven and bake about 10 more minutes on the MIDDLE rack.
-While pizza is baking, mix together arugula, red onion, walnuts, salt and oil in a medium sized bowl.
-When the mozzarella is melted and the figs look a little caramelized, remove from the oven and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top. Lightly spoon the arugula mixture all over the pizza, slice and serve. I sliced the pizza into 24 slices using a baking sheet.

Follow Savvy_chef on instagram and tag me in your posts, I'd love to see what you make :)