A fig is the perfect encapsulation of late summer — sweet, juicy and practically bursting with ripeness — with a richly hued palette that hints at the season to come. Figs beg to be paired with contrasting flavors like sharp cheese, tangy yogurt or a simple sprinkle of salt, all of which bring the delicate flavors to life. My favorite showcase for figs is this Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza with balsamic vinegar. It’s a stunner of a pizza that I have been making religiously for the past three years come fig season. It finally deserves a full post unto itself!
Figs + balsamic is a dreamy combination, with the tangy vinegar balancing the sweet figs. Caramelized onions, honey and rosemary also join the party to create an intensely flavored sauce that has achieved crave-worthy status in our house. I think about this sauce longingly quite often. When spread atop pizza dough, sprinkled with cheese (aged AND fresh goat cheese) and adorned with more figs, the resulting pizza is an explosion of contrasting flavors. It is my favorite pizza. Once cooked, I scatter arugula leaves on top right before serving to add some freshness.
Grab a ball of pizza dough (or make your own) and a carton of squishy figs on your next visit to the store and give this recipe a try. If you are pressed for time, you could also use store-bought flatbread or make a grilled cheese with the filling ingredients.
Enjoy! xo Maggie
P.P.S For another delicious fig recipe, try this stunning late summer salad.Print
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pint fresh ripe figs, 6 quartered and the rest halved for topping
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for topping
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb pizza dough, store-bought or homemade
- 3 oz aged goat cheese, grated (~ 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- If using frozen store-bought pizza dough, defrost according to package directions. Preheat oven to 500°. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven; otherwise, preheat a large baking sheet (large enough to accommodate a 10″ pizza).
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and starting to caramelize — about 5 minutes. Add quartered figs and minced rosemary and cook for another minute, adding more olive oil to the pan if the mixture appears dry. Add balsamic vinegar and honey, and cook until the vinegar has reduced and the onions and figs have cooked down into a thick sauce. This will take about 5 minutes. If the vinegar reduces too rapidly, you can add another splash or two. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, on a well-floured surface, roll out pizza dough to a 10″ round/ 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper or a pizza peel sprinkled generously with cornmeal so the pizza won’t stick. If using parchment paper, trim off the exposed edges of parchment to prevent it from burning.
- Spread the balsamic-fig mixture atop the prepared pizza dough. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the sauce, evenly place the reserved fig halves on top of the cheese, then scatter the fresh goat cheese and sprinkle the reserved rosemary to finish it. Using a pizza peel or another baking sheet, carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese is melted and golden.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with arugula, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of flaky salt. Slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Note: If you roll out your pizza dough thick or your oven has trouble getting up to or maintaining 500°, you can pre-cook the crust for 5-10 minutes before adding the toppings and popping it back in the oven for a crispier crust.