Fig, Proscuitto, and Arugula Pizza

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The  Scoop:

Months and months ago, my biggest foodie crush and all time favorite food blogger came to Philadelphia.  Deb, author of The Smitten Kitchen, had just released her first hard-back-real-paper-pages-cookbook and was coming to the Free Library downtown for a Q&A session and a book signing.

When you read a person’s blog for long enough, you kind of start to feel like you know them.  Then when you see them in person, your kind of start to feel like, ummmmmm, best friends.  Weird?  Creepy?  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that for a brief few hours last December, Deb and I were besties (in my brain) and I’m totally cool with that.

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After waiting 2 (yes T-W-O) hours in line (on a work night!) it was finally my turn.  Deb was signing 2 copies (one for me and one for Small One) which gave me approximately 30 seconds to ask her a question.  Given the nature of my blog, my question seemed obvious.  “What do you suggest to cook to impress a man?”  [side note: I’m sure there are many of you who are rolling your eyes at my old fashioned ways, and I can respect that.  But even after all my independent woman chatter, I find that there is something I still really dig about traditional gender roles.]  More importantly though, Deb understood as well.  You see, Deb’s the kind of woman who, like me, uses food to show people that she cares. [see what I mean–besties.]  So she thought about my question for a second and made a few suggestions before finally exclaiming, “do you know what’s really fun the first time you cook for someone?  Homemade pizza!”

Hmmmmmm, girl I like where your head is at.

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So weeks pass and we’re zipping through time and all of a sudden a day came when The Spatularette found herself ready to cook for a guy.  When I bought these pizza ingredients, I had no intentions of impressing anyone but myself.  But the first batch turned out to be so flippin good, and I serendipitously had exactly enough ingredients left over in my fridge to make one more pie… so… why not ; )

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The ingredient combination is a little wacky at first glance, but trust me when I say it is perfection.  I’ve been seeing arugula, figs, and prosciutto paired together all over the blogosphere and on the menus at some of my favorite restaurants, but this was my first time combining the three.  There is something about that sweet and salty combo from the figs and prosciutto that I just can’t get enough of.  And don’t even get me started on the extra little peppery kick that comes from the layer of arugula.  Typically when arugula is served on a pizza, it is layered high on top after baking.  I actually prefer to sandwich it between layers of cheese and bake it right in there with the rest of the ingredients.  Baking the arugula mellows out the flavor of it just enough, and adds a bright pop of color when biting into a slice!

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The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz pizza dough**
  • 8 oz prepared pizza sauce
  • 6-8 figs, sliced
  • 3 oz (about 4 strips) sliced prosciutto
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup arugula

Optional:

  • Corn meal for sprinkling

**Note: when making homemade pizza, I buy the pre-made ball of dough at Trader Joe’s.  Dough is also available for sale at most local pizza shops.  When I have time, I’ll often make homemade dough using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  I try and steer away from the canned stuff in the refrigerator section of the grocery store when possible.

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The Deets:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

I do not have any fancy pizza making equipment so I just use a plain old cookie sheet.  First I sprinkle it with some corn meal to keep the dough from sticking, but if you don’t have any on hand, just give the tray a quick spritz with some cooking spray.

Roll the dough out into a circle, or save yourself the trouble and just use your hands to press it into a rustic shape like I did.  From here on out, things are going to be pretty darn simple…

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  1. Spread 1 cup of prepared pizza sauce over the dough, leaving some room at the edges for a crust.
  2. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of shredded cheese over the sauce.
  3. Top the cheese with 1 cup of fresh arugula leaves.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup of cheese over the arugula.
  5. Tear the prosciutto into bite sized pieces and distribute evenly around the pie.
  6. Slice the figs thinly and finish off your pizza with a healthy layer.

Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of your oven for 12-15 minutes.  The cheese will be bubbly and the crust will be golden brown.  For this particular pie, I typically err on the side of baking it too long, because it takes awhile for the middle to cook through with all of those toppings.

Remove from the oven and let your pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

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The  Inspiration:

Original Recipe

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I also served this to Roommate (the third time I made it) and she agreed that the ingredients make for a killer flavor combo.  So there you have it… Fig, Arugula, and Prosciutto is spatular and spatularette approved!

XOXO,

Tall One

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