As I write this I’m listening to I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, a BBC Radio 4 comedy programme where guests are encouraged to try new experiences, which is rather timely as I’d never tried figs before tonight. I don’t know why they hadn’t featured in my life until now, but recently there have been recipes popping up all over the place and when I saw them in the Grainger Market last week I couldn’t resist.
Unfortunately Jonathan wasn’t so keen. When I offered a choice of a dish with figs or a dish without he repeatedly opted for the dish without and my figs waited unloved until tonight when I was determined we would taste them.
So I bribed him with pizza. I make pretty damn good pizza (if I say so myself) and its a week night staple at no 41. Pizza dough doesn’t need to rise as much as other doughs so I can whip up a batch when I get in from work and leave it while I put the toddler to bed. Then its a simple matter of heating the oven, rolling the dough, adding toppings and baking.
I will make one pizza with figs and another without I proposed. That way you won’t have to eat the figs if you don’t like them. I had read somewhere that figs are sweet so they contrast well with salty prosciutto and as I also had mozzarella and rocket left overs, that was what we went with. I laid mozzarella slices over a smearing of sun-dried tomato paste (again, another open jar) and arranged scrunched prosciutto and quartered figs on top, adding the rocket after baking.
Our fig, prosciutto & rocket pizza was lush. These flavours do compliment each other and it was a refreshing change to our standard toppings. We’ll be having it again – both of us!
- 500g plain flour
- 1-2 tsp salt
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp yeast
- 300ml tepid water
- Sun-dried tomato paste / tomato puree / passata
- Mozzarella (I like it thinly sliced)
- Figs (I used three on this pizza)
- Rocket (2 - 3 handfuls)
- Mix the yeast and sugar with about 200ml or so of the water. Leave to stand for five minutes or so, it will froth up a bit.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl or on your (clean) work surface. Make a well in the middle and pour in the frothy yeasty water. Mix together.
- Add more water (I usually clean out the jug I had the yeast in, to make sure every last bit is incorporated) until you have a ball of dough - it shouldn't be too sticky.
- Knead for five to ten minutes until the dough is silky and stretchy.
- Put in a bowl in a warm place for an hour or so - even half an hour will do if you're starving.
- When the dough has risen, gently punch it down and divide it into two, three or four (depending on how big you want your pizzas to be).
- Preheat your oven as hot as it can go (225 degrees C on the intensive bake setting for us)
- Roll your dough out quite thin and put it on a baking sheet or cooking mesh - stretch it out to the corners if you can.
- Smear a couple of teaspoons of whatever tomato base you are using over the dough - it doesn't need to be too thick.
- Cover with thinly sliced mozarella and prosciutto. Quarter your figs and arrange them artistically on top.
- Bake your pizza for between 7 to 9 minutes (you may need longer if your oven isn't as hot).
- Add the rocket to the cooked pizza, slice and tuck in!