Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Fig Pesto Pizza

IMG_0624We have another bumper crop of figs this year, and since we don’t make fig jam or fig preserves, we are always on the lookout for good ways to use them. Sure we freeze quite a few to enjoy later in the year (just wash, let dry, and freeze whole), but we love eating them fresh, both raw and cooked as part of the meal. Figs are very nutritious and combine well in a stir-fry or our favorite, fig and gorgonzola pasta.

This week, Parade had a recipe for fig and prosciutto pizza, but I had already been thinking about using figs on a pizza. Since we’re vegetarians, I ignored the prosciutto recipe and came up with one of my own.

I start with a basic pizza dough recipe, which is essentially half a cup of water, yeast, flour, oil, sugar and salt (for two people). I disolve my yeast in the water, add a little sugar or molasses, then stir in enough white flour to make a muddy paste (the sponge of bread). After stirring this awhile to build up some gluten, I then add about a Tbs of olive oil and a dash of salt, then add whole wheat flour to make a soft bread dough. Coat the bowl with a little more oil, cover and let rise for at least half an hour before pressing out on your  pizza stone or pan. Or you can buy premade pizza dough, but homemade is so much better.

For the sauce, I sliced half an onion in rounds or half-rounds, then sautéed with a little garlic in olive oil until translucent and a little carmelized. Then I added mushrooms and a little asian eggplant, though you could leave them out if you prefer, along with a few chopped up figs and the juice of a tomato.

Tip: The tomato juice is a litte trick I use. When I want to use fresh tomato and don’t want it to be too runny, like when I add chopped tomato on top of pizza or on tacos, I quarter it, then squeeze the seeds and juice into whatever I’m cooking, so I don’t lose the flavor. The juice cooks down, and I”m left with the solid parts of the tomato, which I can then chop up, reserving to add raw at the end so they won’t cook too much and get mushy.

The pesto forms the base layer of this pizza. It’s just pine nuts, garlic, and herbs (for this, I used basil, oregeno, and rosemary because that’s what I had and I wanted a spicier pesto than basil alone would be—arugula would also work well). I chopped this into a paste in our mini food processor with enough olive oil to make it a paste. I did not add any parmesan, which I normally do with a pesto, but the cheese will be on top.

Spread the pesto evenly across the pizza, then add the onions, etc., on top of that. Then add quartered figs, chopped tomato, and kalamata olives. I used about 2 oz. of gorgonzola cheeze (leftover from our last fig pasta), a little mozzarella, and some parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees (or until done), and enjoy!

Simple White Sauce for Pizza

White sauce pizzaTonight, I wanted a change of pace for our weekly homemade pizza. I usually make the standard red sauce, though occasionally, I’ll make a white sauce with flour, but tonight, I wanted something easier and with less carbs.  Enter sun-dried tomatoes and buttermilk.

Followers of this blog probably know I love cooking with buttermilk. It’s one of my magic ingredients. This time, I sautéed onions, garlic and a little thinly sliced eggplant (about 1/4 cup of 1/8 inch slices cut into chunks), then added some capers, caper liquid and a little brine of green olives. To that I added quartered artichoke hearts, cut into smaller pieces, and sautéed a bit longer. Then I added some sun dried tomatoes with some of their oil and a few tablespoons of buttermilk.

The buttermilk will separate and become more liquid as soon as it gets hot, but that’s all right. The eggplant and sun dried tomatoes absorb most of the liquid, and I added a little more buttermilk before I was ready to spread the sauce on the pizza crust.

Then came my toppings of zuccini, mushroom, black and green olives, and spinach. Of course, any topings would do. Cover this with a liberal amount of mozerella cheese and bake until the cheese starts to brown.

Tonight’s pizza came out quite good, and this sauce seems a little lighter than some. I’ve made a white-sauce pizza with a flour and milk or buttermilk sauce, which is creamier, but a little heavier. And I’ve made a sauce with crushed tomato and a little buttermilk mixed in. With the sun dried tomatoes, this is somewhere between a white sauce and a red sauce, allowing the olives, capers, and other toppings to really stand out