Sunday, July 25, 2010
In short, lately the keyword has been convenience. Luckily, there are solutions that fall somewhere in between potato chip dinner and four-hour long noodle project in terms of effort. Pre-made pizza dough, available at many supermarkets (including Trader Joes) is a real time-saver. Add some creative toppings, and you have a dish that's tasty enough to serve any day of the week.
Fig & Prosciutto Pizza (Inspired by Todd English)
Scant 1/2 cup blue cheese (I used Point Reyes)
1 fist-sized ball of fresh mozzarella
4 slices of prosciutto
1 ball of pre-made pizza dough
3 green onions
6 oz. jar of fig jam (I used Blue Chair)
Flour for dusting
Olive oil for baking pizza
2 large handfuls of arugula
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1. Leave the dough on your countertop for about half an hour, so it can come up to room temperature. You should also refrigerate the mozzarella for at least half an hour, or until it is firm enough to shred.
2. While your dough/cheese are warming up/cooling down, slice the prosciutto into bite-sized pieces, rinse and dry the arugula, clean and thinly slice the green onions.
3. Preheat your oven to 525 degrees Farenheit.
4. Flour a cutting board well. I find it easier to split the dough into two pieces, rolling each one out into a rectangle about 12" by 8". As you can see from the photo, I use the term "rectangle" very loosely. This makes a fairly thin crust (but not cracker thin). Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet and lightly oil the foil. Set one of your rectangles of dough on the foil. Repeat with the other piece of dough and a second baking sheet.
5. Rope your husband into shredding the mozzarella while you are rolling out the dough. Then mix the shredded mozzarella together with the crumbled blue cheese.
6. Assemble both pizzas in the same way: first spread a little less than half of the jar of fig jam over the surface of the dough. I used the entire jar of jam to make this, but next time I would leave back about two tablespoons. Break up any large pieces of fig with your fingers. Scatter half of the cheese mixture generously over the jam, leaving about an inch around the edge to accommodate the ooze from melting. Then top with half of the green onions and prosciutto. Repeat with the second pizza.
7. Place pizzas in oven for 15-17 minutes. While they are cooking, make a quick vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Dress the arugula and set aside.
8. After 15 minutes or so, your pizzas should be done. The crust will be slightly browned at the edges and the cheese will be bubbling hot. You should be able to lift the pizzas off of the foil very easily with a spatula. Top with dressed arugula, slice, and serve.