It’s rare that I find fresh Figs in our grocery stores in Minnesota. They have two seasons. A quick, shorter season in early summer and a second, main crop that starts in late summer and runs through fall. Figs cannot withstand temperatures much below 20°F, and so are not available from local sources in much of the Midwest. We’ve eaten them a lot in California, so I was thrilled when I recently purchased them at our local Costco. The girls were coming over for our Monday night gathering, so I thought I would create a decadent pizza with flavors I love!
I had some Prosciutto in the freezer on hand, which is an Italian ham. It’s usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto. Prosciutto is made from either a pig’s or a wild boar’s ham (hind leg or thigh). The process of making prosciutto can take anywhere from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham. The most renowned and expensive legs of prosciutto come from central and northern Italy.
Anyways, Prosciutto is a bit salty and very flavorful and I thought it would be a perfect pair with the luscious sweetness of the figs! I didn’t have time to make pizza dough from scratch and wanted to change things up from the usual flat out style I make, so I purchased a thin crust pizza on the way home from work to top with my goods. Next time, I think I would go with the homemade, but it was good none the less.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Prosciutto, chopped
2 Vidalia Onions, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
6-8 Fresh Figs, quartered
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 Goat Cheese, crumbled
Fresh Thyme, to your liking
Balsamic Vinegar, to taste (I used Mission Fig infused)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Start the onions in a bit of EVOO in a skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat in oil for caramelizing. Add a pinch of salt to season the onions and at the same time it will speed up the caramelizing process. Toss or stir from time to time and continue to do so watching them as the onions’ color turns darker and darker.
If you feel that the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan too much, add a very small amount of water, to the pan and stir. This will deglaze them while the water evaporates loosening the onion slices. Continue until the onions have reached the color, flavor, and texture you desire. Add the pressed garlic and cook for an additional two minutes tossing frequently. Set aside.
Next, saute the chopped prociutto in the sunflower oil, turning until all sides are cooked through.
Drizzle the top of the pizza crust with olive oil and brush to an even coat before sprinkling with mozzarella.
Top with the caramelized onions, prosciutto, chopped peppers and figs.
Next, evenly crumble the goat cheese and top with fresh chopped thyme.
Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for roughly 15 minutes; until the bottom crust is done to your liking.
Allow to cool for about five minutes prior to cutting.