This is less of a recipe and more of a compilation of other people’s great ideas. Fresh figs were back at Whole Foods this past weekend, so I pored through recipe possibilities again. Last time I left them relatively plain and was a little underwhelmed, but this time I wanted to do something a little bolder with them.
I hit on a few interesting recipes using figs as a pizza topping: with caramelized onion, hazelnuts, and basil; port-soaked, with tofu and roasted pears; and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup reduction. Yum. After adapting ideas from all of the above, we ended up with a surprisingly quick and simple weeknight meal. The sauce ingredients below are really just approximations- feel free to adjust according to your tastes and what you have on hand. I loved the rosemary and walnut flavors, but wonder if thyme would also be good.
And, if pizza doesn’t suit your tastes, our runner-up fig options were baked figs and nectarines with white wine and honey, or figs with honey, white wine, orange, cloves, and cinnamon.
Fig, Pear, Onion, Walnut, and Rosemary Pizza
1 pizza crust of your choice (12-16 inches)
3/4 medium-large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 – 4 Tbsp. fig butter (ours was from Trader Joe’s and not as sweet as fig jam)
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 – 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 small-medium pear, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 – 4 large, fresh, brown turkey figs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1. Follow the directions to prepare your pizza crust. (We intended to use a whole grain Bob’s Red Mill mix that we’d bought, but [to make a long story short] ended up using a much less exciting wheat Boboli. We don’t use them very often, and I didn’t think it was the perfect complement to these flavors, but sometimes that is life.)
2. Saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat until they are brown and flavorful, about 10 minutes.
3. While the onions are cooking, stir together the fig butter, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. Adjust according to your taste. You don’t want this sauce to be too sweet though- the figs and pears will be plenty sweet enough on the pizza, and the sauce seems to get sweeter as it cooks.
4. Spread the fig-maple-balsamic sauce on your pizza crust. Top with the cooked onions.
5. Layer on the pear and fig slices. You do not want it to be as crowded and loaded up as the photos- it was too sweet with all that fruit!
6. Bake according to your crust instructions, but sprinkle the walnuts and rosemary on top of the pizza for only the last 6 minutes of baking.