While I love greens, I also love a good fig pizza.
This fig and caramelized onion pizza is inspired by a fig pizza we enjoyed at our very favorite pizzeria, Salvatore’s. Sal’s is in Madison, Wisconsin, where we lived before moving to the desert, and it was (well, it still is) on our block, just a 30 second walk from our apartment. In the -10F weather to which we were regularly subjected, having a date night dinner place just 30 seconds away was a fantastic situation to be in. We ate our very last Madison meal at Sal’s, and when we let them know it was our final night in the city, they wrote “Bon Voyage!” on our carryout container filled with leftover fig pizza to enjoy on the long road the next day. That leftover pizza was a sight for bored eyes somewhere in Iowa.
Since I don’t know when I’ll get to enjoy that pizza again, I’ve tried to create my own version with sliced figs, sweet and gooey caramelized onions, and roasted garlic with a homemade red sauce and a whole wheat crust.
I’ve included the recipe for my simple homemade pizza sauce below, but feel free to use a pre-made sauce if you have a favorite, or if you just want to speed this meal up a little bit. Timing-wise, I usually make the dough and then caramelize the onions while the dough is rising. If the onions finish before the dough is ready, they can just sit in the skillet until they’re ready to be put on the pizza.
I should also say that you could leave off the cheese if you aren’t eating dairy. This fig pizza gets most of its flavor from the caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and (duh) figs, so you could just make extra of those toppings and forget the mozzarella. In fact, we’ve made variations of this fig pizza without the cheese and it’s definitely still delicious.
I wish I had a pizza stone to bake this on, because that would be fabulous. But I make it on parchment paper on an ordinary (very large) cookie sheet, and it works just fine. It makes enough slices for me and Ryan to have for dinner and then leftovers for a smaller lunch the next day. And we never, ever, argue over who got the bigger slices. Nope, that definitely never happens.
Ripe, juicy figs and sweet, gooey caramelized onions top this roasted garlic pizza on a whole wheat crust.
- 1 pizza crust (see below)
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or leave it off and add extra toppings)
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (see below for mine, or use your favorite)
- 5-8 fresh figs, any variety (mine were brown turkey figs)
- half a large brown or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 whole head roasted garlic*
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup bread flour (or additional cup of whole wheat, for 100% whole wheat crust)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- additional water if necessary
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- half of a large brown or white onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- pinch of black pepper
- olive oil
In the bottom of a saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and sautee the onion over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown a little.
Add the garlic and sautee another minute.
Add the entire can of tomato paste, mashing with a rubber spatula to combine it with the onion and garlic. Turn up the heat and continue to stir constantly with the rubber spatula, scraping up the browning bits of paste as they form.
Continue to "fry off" the paste-and-onions mixture until it's somewhat darkened and sticking a little. Add the water and deglaze the pan with the rubber spatula by scraping off the browned paste from the sides and bottom of the pan while you're mixing in the water.
Simmer for 5 more minutes.
Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth, or use a handheld immersion/stick blender right in the pot. Add the oregano, sea salt, and black pepper and blend again to combine. You're done!
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast, water, and maple syrup or honey. Let it sit for a few minutes until frothy.
Add olive oil, flour and salt and knead into a uniform dough.
Rub the dough ball with additional olive oil, cover, and let sit in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size (this is a good time to caramelize the onion for the toppings).
Preheat oven to 450F.
Dump the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into your pizza shape.
Bake for 10 minutes BEFORE putting the toppings on.
While your dough is rising, heat a drizzle of olive oil on low heat in a skillet (cast iron works really well) and add the sliced onions. Stir to coat them in oil.
Keeping the heat as low as it can go, caramelize the onions by leaving them on the stove while your dough rises and stirring every 10 minutes or so--more often if they start to burn or brown too quickly (but then you should turn your heat down). Turn the heat off when they're reduced, medium brown, gooey, and sweet.
Slice the figs into 1/4-inch slices.
When the onions are finished and your dough is pre-baked (see crust instructions), spread the sauce over the pizza and sprinkle the roasted garlic cloves (I don't bother cutting them!), cheese, and caramelized onions over the pizza in that order. Add the fig slices.
Place the pizza back in the oven for another 5 minutes, or however long it takes for the cheese to melt and turn bubbly. It's done!
*We get heads of roasted garlic at our local farmer's market, but if you want to roast your own, see the instructions in my recipe for Hazelnut Pumpkin Bread With Roasted Garlic and Rosemary.