Fig Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

by brookefiore

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DSC_0144I am a bit in love with the transitionary phase I am in right now. I know I don’t often share anything overly personal here but I find no harm in doing so from time to time. Right now I have several days to my self as I await the beginning of a new job.

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It seems to be hardwired into my mind that I fight with a commotion of anxiety and excitement in my mind prior to embarking on big and new things. This time however, feels a bit different. I’m able to fill my days with baking and cooking and photography and organizing and the outdoors and all the wonderful things that keep me busy and oh, so very happy. I’m truly able to enjoy each day, for now I’ve come to know what it’s like to be without the freedom to putt around from task to task at a leisurely pace. I’ve gotten the taste of the post-college, post-internship, working life and truly enjoy it. But I’m always up for a change of pace now and then.

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For now, I can stay up just a little bit later into the evening and awake just a little bit after the sun rises in the morning. I’ve only had coffee once in the past week, awaking by the rhythm of a miniature vacation. A vacation in my own home. For some, this can be very unappealing for bills and chores and work somehow continue to creep in in a way that would be impossible if they were vacationing on some remote island. But with the absence of work, I find enjoyment in the daily tasks, knowing soon I will return to work with a brand new routine. I’m keeping busy hands and a busy mind, filling the stomachs of my family and voids of creativity I never knew I had.

Two years ago I was introduced to a friend of the family’s fig tree. A large tree, tucked into the corner of his sand and stone backyard nestled onto the barrier island of New Jersey. “Figs!” He exclaimed as he swung the back door from the basement to the backyard wide open. He plucked a fig off from a friendly branch, “try it!” he said with enthusiastic pride. I have to admit, I was more drawn to the sweet, candy-like quality of the dried figs his wife offered us from her kitchen rather than their fresh-picked counterpart.

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Since then, I’ve toyed with the idea of including dried figs into some sort of baked good or dish but I’d never actively sought out a recipe. When a recipe from a friend for fig and prosciutto pizza popped up in my inbox the other day, I couldn’t get cooking fast enough.

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Fig Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula

Recipe inspired by Ree Drummond at the Food Network and Sarah, my fellow former dietetic intern

Ingredients for the pizza crust:

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup all purpose, unbleached flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

scant 1/4 cup olive oil, plus a bit more for the bowl

I have to admit, these amounts are estimates, I can’t be bothered to weigh and measure for pizza toppings…

Ingredients for the topping:

1 TBSP olive oil

kosher salt

about 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped dried figs

1/2 cup water

2-3 TBSP honey

12 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (or enough to cover the surface of the pizza)

6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (again, enough to cover the surface)

1 bunch washed and rinsed arugula

1/4 cup goat cheese

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

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Directions for the crust:

Sprinkle yeast over 3/4 cup very warm water in a bowl.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add flour and salt and with the mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the water-yeast mixture and continue to mix on low speed until just combined. Transfer dough to a bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Roll the dough to for a ball that is evenly coated with the olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least one hour.

Directions for the pizza:

In a medium cast iron skillet, over medium heat, heat the water and chopped dried figs until bubbling. Add in honey and allow to reduce down to a glaze, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500F. Roll the pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface – I rolled the dough out onto a lightly floured pizza stone that had also been dusted with a bit of cornmeal. Once you have spread the dough into the desired width and thickness, brush surface with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

 Spread fig glaze over surface, leaving a 1-inch crust along the edges. Place the mozzarella over the surface of the pizza. Crumble goat cheese on top. Place into the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes.

Toss arugula with balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl.

Remove pizza from oven once cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown and immediately drape prosciutto slices over pizza. Sprinkle arugula mixture over pizza and slice to serve.

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