Grilled Fig and Prosciutto Pizza is the perfect way to entertain a crowd. Sweet, salty and smokey all at the same time. Delicious.
This past weekend we had dinner with our small group that comprises what we refer to as “gourmet” — the same three couples that get together every few months, as our busy schedules allow, to eat exceptional food and get caught up on each others’ lives.
As usual, this meal did not disappoint. I was assigned the appetizer and decided on a grilled pizza loaded with sweet and salty goodness. The original recipe by Todd English combined fig jam, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese, and fresh rosemary. I added dried figs, a gift to me last Christmas from the friends and neighbors hosting this dinner. I was surprised at how moist the dried figs were when I sliced them open. I had assumed I would need to rehydrate the fruit, but that was not at all necessary.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup warm water 105 to 115 degrees F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
- 1 clove garlic minced
- • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- • Salt and freshly ground pepper
- • 1/2 cup fig jam
- • 1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
- • 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
- • Dried sliced figs or halved fresh figs
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.
- In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a cool spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough will stretch as it is slightly pulled).
- Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 1 hour. At this point, the balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Make the pizza dough; keep covered and chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use
- In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, rosemary, and salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare the grill. (I grill my pizzas on low heat, using a gas grill.) Remove 2 balls of dough from the refrigerator. I used to roll each ball of dough on a floured surface, but now I just take the ball of dough in my hands and start turning and stretching, letting the weight of the dough form the disc. When the dough is about 8-inches in diameter, place it on the grill. Repeat with the second ball of dough; place the cover over the grill When the bottom of the dough is a golden brown, flip, and begin adding the toppings.
- Spread the surface of the dough with a thin layer of the fig jam. Sprinkle 1/4 of the garlic-rosemary mixture evenly over each pizza; top with 1/4 of the Gorgonzola cheese. Take 1 ounce of the prosciutto and tear into pieces while scattering over the pizza. Add either dried sliced figs, or fresh figs, cover the grill and continue to "bake" the pizzas until they are puffed and golden brown. Remove to a cutting board and slice into pieces. Repeat this process with the remaining 2 balls of pizza dough.
I grew up in the Amana Colonies in Iowa; a German community made up of seven villages, where gardening, cooking, and hand-made were the center of our lives. I went on to study fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute and for many years created one-of-a-kind, crocheted linen bags that were sold through galleries, museums, and boutiques across the country. I have also restored Oriental rugs, done graphic design, worked as a colorist, catered, consulted (on whatever...) and raised two beautiful daughters. I now spend my days in my kitchen baking and asking myself, "Why didn't I go to France and study pastry?" I am now making up for lost time, sharing with you what I love to do most in the kitchen.