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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Date Night with Figs

Want a relaxing way to enjoy this beautiful spring-like weather? Food is always good to squeeze into the mix and we are overdue for a tasty recipe. Today is designated date night and figs are on the menu.

Fig & Prosciutto Pizza (Adapted from Todd English’s Recipe)
Preheat oven and pizza stone to 500 to 550 Degrees for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The stone needs to be heated thoroughly. The hotter the oven, the better the pizza cooks. 700 Degrees is actually the ideal temperature but most conventional ovens do not go above 550. One of the reasons an outside pizza oven is a great idea.

For the quick and easy method, use large pita pockets for your dough; split the pockets open. If you opt to make your own pizza dough or buy frozen dough at the store, stretch it as thin as you can; the thinner the better. Cornmeal on the pizza peel makes it easy to slide the pizza on and off the peel without disaster.

Now let’s prepare the ingredients.

Mix two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, ½ clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper and ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to spread the mixture on the pocket or pizza dough.

Chop up approximately 6 Mission figs (dried but soft) or you can use Fig preserve (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup of gorgonzola cheese (I prefer goat cheese as I find gorgonzola too strong for my taste). The cheese should be crumbled in pea-size pieces. You do not want large clumps of cheese.
3 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto (cut into strips)
Todd also uses scallions as a garnish. Completely up to you.

First cover the pizza with the figs, then spread the gorgonzola evenly and place the prosciutto on top. For pita pockets, it takes two to three minutes for cook time. Fresh pizza dough takes five to ten minutes depending on how thin the dough is stretched. Always check the bottom of the pizza. Keep a close eye. Never wander too far from the oven. Slice and serve immediately accompanied with a fine salad of greens (mesclun and/or arugula drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette) and a glass of Chianti. This is a healthy meal for an early spring evening. Enjoy.

The inspirational thought for Thursday date night is by none other than Charlie Brown. “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.” Try the Fig and Prosciutto Pizza. I think it will go much smoother. Annie

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)