Ahhh, fresh figs. We bought a baby fig tree this year — it’s a dwarf for our dwarfy front yard. I think it’s called a Black Jack, and it’s yielded exactly 3 figs so far. This, after my parents got over 700 figs in the first year of their tree’s life down in Texas. Wow, what a difference the climate makes! Our little tree might be slow-growing, but the three figs we’ve eaten have all been divine, and I’m looking forward to next year, when I’m hoping our little dwarf will get fat with figs. Yum!
In the meantime, my husband is a fantastic forager. Loren found a black mission fig tree on public land a few weeks back, and he came home with a grocery bag full of the little goodies. We ate them for dessert with honey goat cheese and maple syrup. We ate them with pancakes. We ate them on their own. We cooked them down with peaches and cinnamon, and we still had lots left for fun fig recipes!
Cookin’ the Market
I mentioned a few posts back that I ran into a friend of mine at the Jack London Farmers’ Market, where she was doing a cooking demonstration for creamy cucumber gazpacho. On that same visit, she offered me a few recipe cards from previous market demos, and one of them happened to be a fig pizza! I didn’t follow the recipe per se, but it was inspiring nonetheless! Unfortunately their fig pizza gem isn’t listed on their website yet, but if you’d like to check out some cool Cookin’ the Market culinary creations, here’s their fall menu.
Gluten-free Pizza Crust
Admittedly, this is a recipe that includes a store-bought gluten-free pizza crust. I love making things from scratch, but you can’t do everything all the time, and if there’s a tasty, decently healthy pre-made option for those nights when you just need to get dinner on the table, then why not? I’m looking forward to trying Kelly’s grain-free crust recipe over at Primally Inspired, but I don’t tend to use tapioca flour that often, so I’ll need to stock up before I try it. I won’t say that the Udis crust (affiliate link) I used for this recipe is a FANTASTIC option if you’re watching your carbs, but honestly tapioca flour isn’t either, so I suppose you have to pick your battles. And the Udi’s crust is so thin while still remaining sturdy that you can just pile on the protein and veggies for a night of guilt-free delicious dining.
For the Pesto
I did make my own pesto for this recipe — stay tuned for a video on how to do that yourself! I think it’s important to control your ingredients where possible, especially when it comes to foods that contain fats and oils. You want to know that your ingredients are organic and high quality. Often the makers of store-bought sauces, dressings, pesto, marinades, etc. cut corners by replacing olive oil with canola oil or soybean oil, by using conventional ingredients, or by adding undesirable flavorings and preservatives. Check out my salad dressing post and video for more details on this topic.
That being said, it’s not impossible to find a good, high quality pesto at your local grocer or a natural foods store like Whole Foods. You want a pesto that has ingredients you can pronounce and no commercial vegetable oils. My recipe isn’t the traditional basil and pine nuts combo (another fun reason for homemade — variety!), but the classic combination will work beautifully on this pizza if you don’t want to make your own.
My pesto recipe is simple
In a food processor, combine the following ingredients:
- 1/4 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- the juice from 1 lemon
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- pinch of salt
- 1 Udi's gluten-free pizza crust
- 1/2 cup fresh pesto
- fresh organic goat cheese
- 5 to 7 black figs, sliced
- 4oz package of sliced prosciutto
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Spread pesto evenly across pizza crust
- Evenly distribute the figs and dollops of goat cheese across pizza crust
- Drape prosciutto over the surface
- Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer your crust