Fresh Fig, Bacon + Blue Cheese Pizza.
Here’s the plan.
You only have to get through a few hours of the day before you can go home and make pizza. I want pizza Mondays to be real in my house. I think I said that a few weeks ago about tacos… but I mean I’m incredibly fickle to begin with so how can you be surprised. Regardless, nearly my entire life revolves around pizza and tacos. This is so very true that I even dedicated a portion of my book to such delicacies.
Well, they are delicacies to me. I’m simple.
I was shocked to find fresh figs in my local grocery store because they are only available here for about 3.6 seconds every year. Luckily, I can get dried figs every day of my life and consume those suckers like candy, but the fresh ones?… what a treat. I bought 12 of them for … 12 freaking dollars. Yes, like $12. One, two, dollar sign. One dollar per fig. You people with a fig tree are probably laughing in my face right now. I can’t help it though. I love them so much.
The majority were sliced for this pizza (hi dinner) and I enjoyed the rest of them fresh and simple like a freak. That’s how it should be.
People always ask me how I come up with the flavor combinations that I do. Well, I don’t really know? I just put together flavors that I like. I’d love to say that I have a much more sophisticated palette and can taste undertones (are those a thing?) in certain foods and put things together because they universally belong and match, but that is not the case.
In fact, the way I combine flavors is exactly the way I obnoxiously sing Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors: skeptically and quite often – wrong.
Let me just get this out of the way: I have no idea what the heck the lyrics of that song are but I sure act like I do. And as a sidebar, I just googled the lyrics (which I probably haven’t done since my Napster days) and I still stand by my argument that those are TOUGH lines. How is anyone supposed to decipher those? I don’t care that JT’s voice is like angels singing in my ears. I’ll happily make up my own song.
So the moral of this story is that I just really adore figs, cheese and – obviously – bacon. And pizza. And even… arugula. If I love all of those things, how could they steer me in the wrong direction? Exactly.
That’s why I ate all this pizza by myself.
Fresh Fig, Bacon + Blue Cheese Pizza
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 fresh figs, sliced
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked until slightly crispy and fat is rendered
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 cups fresh arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pinch of salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (I actually used a pizza stone and heated my oven to 450 degrees, and baked for 15 minutes. If you're just using a baking sheet, follow the directions below for baking and set to 375 degrees.)
Assemble the dough on a peel or baking sheet. Cover with a drizzle of olive oil and the garlic cloves, then spread on half of the fontina cheese. Add figs and bacon all over the pizza, then top with remaining fontina and blue cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese and crust is golden and bubbly. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Toss the arugula with olive oil, salt and pepper, then add on top of pizza. Serve!
There’s a lot of green stuff on there, no?