The rampage of figgy foods continues! As I looked for inspiration for other fun, new things to do with figs, I chanced upon an amazing looking fig and fennel pizza that I knew I had to try. I changed things up a bit and was quite pleased with the outcome. Its one thing to say that I love pizza, but I really loved this pizza.
Fresh figs, fennel bulb, prosciutto, and leek for toppings, roasted shallot cream sauce, and gruyere–yeah, what’s not to love in that mix? These might sound like a lot of big flavors to all have together, but they really all have a phenomenal affinity for one another. Figs and the anisey sweetness of fennel, figs and prosciutto, figs and cheese, figs and the sharpness of shallot and leek–they are all fantastic on their own, and taken together all at once, it was one cohesive, sweet, salty, savory, nutty, intense flavor. Underneath it all were two other important flavors that I thought would help brighten things up a bit: lemon zest and rosemary. Try explaining this pizza to your friends–if this doesn’t snob up pizza and get you some odd looks, I don’t know what will (well, maybe I do). If you love fresh figs, set some time aside this weekend and try this pizza. Seriously.
- Dough (good for 2 pizzas, or one thick crust)
- 3 cup flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.75 tsp active dry yeast
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- Roasted Shallot Cream Sauce
- olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 leek
- 1 fennel bulb
- ~0.5 lb gruyere, shredded
- 0.25-0.5 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced and chopped
- ~18 figs, halved/quartered (i used 6 of each black mission, kadota, brown turkey)
- fresh rosemary, 1-2 sprigs, chopped
- lemon zest
First, you need to make your pizza dough, let it proof, and all of that good stuff.
While you wait for the dough to be ready for action, you can prep all of the other pizza components. Dice up the fennel bulb (save the fronds for another day–they work as an herb), finely mince the pale part of a leek, stem and halve the figs, zest the lemon, grate/shred the gruyere, chop up thin slices of prosciutto, and finely dice the rosemary leaves. Whew, have a drink.
Now the roasted shallot cream sauce requires a roasted shallot. The idea for the sauce is very much like a roasted garlic cream sauce I made a while back, so to start, lop off the top of a shallot, rub with a bit of olive oil, wrap tightly in tin foil, and roast it at 400°F in the oven for about 40 minutes.
While the shallot is roasting, sauté the diced fennel for about 5 minutes in olive oil. Then, deglaze the pan with 3/4 cup of white wine. Braise this (simmer covered on low heat) until the shallot is done roasting, which for me, was somewhere around 30 minutes or so.
When the shallot is done, remove the fennel from the pan (leave any liquid behind–top it off with more wine to bring it back up to about 3/4 cup) and set it aside. Heat up the white wine and add the cream, salt, and pepper. Warm this up over medium heat and squeeze the pulp out of the roasted shallot into the pan. Simmer this for about 15 minutes and puree it in the food processor. Simmer further until you’re happy with the texture (it should be somewhat thick) of the sauce and set this aside. Adjust seasoning to taste.
And now, the rest of the toppings. Sauté the diced leek for about 5 minutes in olive oil to soften them up, add the figs for about 2 minutes and set this aside.
And now, we can get moving on putting the pizza together. I cooked my pizza on a stone, and doing this requires about 45 minutes or so of preheating at the highest temperature you can get your oven (for me, 500°F) to warm the stone up.
Toss and shape your dough to be pizza sized. Work quickly–spread out the shallot sauce (leaving a border of unsauced dough for the crust) and sprinkle on the lemon zest and rosemary.
And now pile on the rest. Spread the fennel, figs, leeks, prosciutto, and cheese. Get this in the oven for 10 minutes.
Once time is up, the crust should just be coloring, the cheese bubbly, and things should smell great. Let the pizza cool for a bit, cut yourself a slice, and dig in. Enjoy!