A Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza
Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza is a drool worthy combination of fresh ripe figs baked atop a cheesy base, and crowned with prosciutto.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
What Is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is an Italian ham that is cured by drying. It is sliced and sold paper-thin and is coveted for its salty taste and smooth texture. Prosciutto differs from bacon and pancetta as it’s made from the hind leg of a pig, and is technically a type of ham.
The quality of prosciutto lies in the method used to cure it. The outside of the ham is typically rubbed with salt. The process the salt initiates pulls the moisture from the meat. This allows for the flavors to concentrate as they develop, while a slow air-dry aids the process along the way.
Prosciutto needn’t be cooked, rather it is cured, dried and edible as purchased. It can be enjoyed alone, as a panini in between slices of Italian pressed bread, or with fruit and cheese as a mezze.
See my method for an easy pizza dough here.
This summer is like no other. I am treating reconnecting with neighbors and friends and family who we’ve not seen due to Covid with kid gloves. That is to say, I am keeping food recipes easy, ingredients low cost and fresh, and all of my cooking and baking for small gatherings will be hosted here at home.
Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza is a delicious combination of salty, sweet and savory flavors! Fresh ripe figs are baked atop a creamy, cheesy base and flanked by pieces of torn prosciutto. Serve it for dinner or as an appetizer at your next party.
This is a loose recipe for a free form prosciutto pizza. To the pizza crust I add fresh figs (you may also substitute fig jam in moderation), gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary leaves. The resulting super easy finger food makes this doable for groups at a low cost and is easily multiplied.
Toppings are flexible. In fact, depending on how many folks you plan to feed, or if you simply want to offer some diversity in terms of flavor combinations, thinly sliced red onion, caramelized onion, or roasted sweet garlic make great beginnings. From there, pair a fresh fruit like black mission figs or fresh pear, a cured protein such as salty prosciutto or coppa, some kind of cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil or a reduction to finish.
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza? Check The List!
fresh pizza dough
all purpose flour
gorgonzola cheese or blue stilton cheese
ground black pepper
fresh ripe figs
fresh rosemary leaves
extra virgin olive oil
blue cheese, goat cheese, parmesan cheese
old vine zinfandel wine reduction
How This Recipe Came About…
A funny thing happened about a month ago. I jumped in the car one Saturday morning with the family to run our usual weekend yard sale route. At the very last sale we happened upon, I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous fig tree in the homeowners back yard.
I asked the gal running the sale if it was in fact a fig tree and complimented her. The next thing I knew, she and I were exchanging phone numbers, she promising to text me when her figs were ripe for picking. And that she did.
My new friend Sarah gifted me a beautiful bowl of figs this morning. Todays fig prosciutto pizza recipe became one of those easy dinner recipes that I in turn needed to share with you.
How To Make Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza?
I use a pizza stone to get the crust moderately crispy for easy handling. A seasoned baking sheet works great, too. I heat the stone in the oven for about 15 minutes. When my fresh pizza dough hits the hot stone, magic happens as an immediate “crisping” of the dough takes place.
In lieu of a traditional red sauce, I like to whip up a very savory béchamel sauce. I incorporate half the gorgonzola cheese and a branch of muddled rosemary which I will remove before adding to the pizza.
Gorgonzola béchamel is the quickest way to deliver the veiny strong-flavored Italian cheese to an eaters taste buds. If you can’t find Gorgonzola cheese, try a blue vein or Stilton style blue cheese. For a lighter blue cheese flavor, look for a creamy blue cheese. If you are fortunate enough to find, keep in mind that a little cheese goes a long way, so try to grab a package with only a few ounces weight, say 5 or 6 ounces.
Lastly, fresh figs. What can I say other than that when these purple gems are in season, you absolutely HAVE TO find methods to use them up. Something Sarah and I definitely agree on is that to allow them to ripen and fall to the ground is just a waste. Trust me, I wasn’t the only friend arriving to collect fresh figs from Sarah this morning! I’m thrilled to see her have folks to offer them to.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
This is easy. The topping combinations for making this free form pizza not entirely average are pretty endless. Here are a few pro tips for pairing flavors.
Any soft crumbly cheese may be added to the béchamel base to include goat cheese, fontina, parmesan, and even feta. Add a little, whisk in, taste, and then add additional only if necessary. If you have no sherry, opt for a chardonnay or a marsala wine. Same rule applies; add a little, whisk in, taste, and then add additional only if necessary.
If you prefer to skip the béchamel altogether, consider thin slices of brie or just crumbled cheese as your base. Roasted and mashed butternut squash with a hint of smoked paprika added also makes for a killer base.
If figs are not in season or are unavailable, replace with thin slices of fresh pear. I have on occasion used a half cup fig jam in lieu of fresh figs, While I enjoyed the pizza immensely, fig jam was just a bit sweet for me. If planning to use, use in moderation and keep in mind that it is highly concentrated, therefore sweet.
What To Serve With Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza?
Rather than a side salad, how about topping your flatbread WITH the salad? Fresh rocket (arugula) scattered atop a pizza hot from the oven is somehow an immediate delicacy! Seriously.
And I incorporate a hack from my method for Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin. I reduce about a cup of an old vine zinfandel until it’s viscous and thick. Drizzled atop the peppery arugula and the salty prosciutto, this is now gourmet dish. Reduced Balsamic vinegar works exactly the same. Rule of thumb is to reduce by half.
What To Drink With Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza?
Any well-chilled dry white such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc are perfect. As somebody who is partial to old vine zins, this is a chance for me to plug one of my faves, Gnarly Head. Contrary to popular belief, this wine may be consumed at room temperature or chilled.
And there is nothing like having a beer to pair with an expertly assembled appetizer such as this. Consider a Belgian witbier here, a low-ABV (alcohol by volume) beer brewed with wheat. The subtle citrus and fruit character of a witbier would complement the fresh peaches nicely, and the fluffy texture of the wheat would elevate the delicate flavor of the prosciutto.
Can Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza Be Made Ahead?
The pizza dough may be made ahead by two days. Just wrap tightly in plastic film and refrigerate until ready to roll. I have also made the gorgonzola béchamel in advance by 1 day. To reconstitute it, heat over medium low heat and use a whisk to smooth. Add sherry by teaspoonfuls if the sauce is too dense.
How To Serve Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza?
This is a free form prosciutto flatbread, so grab a pizza cutter and do a chop job. Long but irregular strips are quite appetizing displayed on a flat platter or pizza peel. If the strips seem too long, use the pizza cutter to cut them in half. Again, go for odd sizes.
Flatbreads are best served warm, but definitely not hot. Hot is too hot. The béchamel sauce will become extremely hot beneath the surface during the bake. To bite into it right from the oven may be too intense.
A Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza
- pizza stone
- Pizza Cutter
Ingredients for A Fig Prosciutto And Gorgonzola Pizza
for the creamy gorgonzola béchamel
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1 small onion coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese
- pinch Kosher salt
- pinch black pepper
for the prosciutto pizza
- 1 fresh pizza dough see my method for easy pizza dough here
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal for dusting the pizza stone
- 8 to 10 ripe figs washed, dried, and sliced lengthwise in thirds
- 4 ounces prosciutto torn into strips
- 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- 3 tablespoons rosemary leaves fresh
- drizzle olive oil
for the creamy gorgonzola béchamel
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add flour. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until mixture is pale golden with a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes.
- Whisking constantly, add half the milk. Add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the gorgonzola cheese and the sherry and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat but keep warm.
for the prosciutto pizza
prepare a pizza stone according to manufacturers directions, as some require soaking prior to use
- Place pizza stone into a cold oven, then preheat oven to 425°F. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake the stone for 12 minutes.
- Working on a well floured surface, use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and shape the dough to roughly the size of the pizza stone. Use the tines of a fork to poke lots and lots of holes all over the surface penetrating the dough.
- Remove the pizza stone from the oven very carefully. Dust quickly with the cornmeal and transfer the pizza dough onto the stone. Return the stone to the oven and bake for 6 to 8 minutes. The dough will not be cooked through.
- Remove the stone from the oven once again carefully. Use the fork to poke necessary holes to allow air to escape pockets in the dough that may have risen. Pour and spread the creamy gorgonzola béchamel sauce over the crust.
- Add the fig slices over the whole surface followed by the torn prosciutto. Scatter the rosemary leaves and the gorgonzola crumbles.
- Return the pizza to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pizza begins to turn a nice golden color.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and slide onto a pizza peel or other cutting surface. This also stops the cooking process. Allow the pizza to cool for 5 minutes.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut long, uneven strips and then some of those strips cut in half. Arrange on a flat platter and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.