Thursday, January 13, 2011

Goat Cheese and Fig Pizza

Every Sunday, when I was younger, my family got together with our neighbors to share homemade pizza, games, and conversation. I live several hours away from them now, but my parents and brother still maintain this tradition. Pizza Nights were always filled with a mix of the gleeful antics that naturally result when you unite a large number of children and the unspoken mourning of a weekend’s ending.

Pizza Night pizzas are pretty simple fare—plain, sausage, or pepperoni. The cooks in our two families tend to try to highlight great ingredients, rather than complicated technique. When I tried my hand at homemade pizza recently, I thought—keeping this philosophy in mind—I’d try to fancy it up just a tad.

My dough didn’t come out as nicely as I hoped, so I won’t list the recipe here. If you want to try this out, look for a recipe for making a thin crust pizza at a high temperature. A simple flatbread would probably work just as well.

Here’s what you’ll need:

the aforementioned dough, one red pepper, the homemade tomato sauce you made in August (or any old sauce, slackers), half an onion, dried figs, goat cheese

Here’s what you’ll do:

Heat the oven to about 450 or 475. Slice your onion into whatever size slices you feel like. Sauté them in some butter, over medium heat, until they start to get a little brown. Just a little.

While the onions are cooking, slice the pepper into long strips, toss onto a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Pop them in the hot oven to roast, just for a few minutes. Might as well chop the dried figs while they do.

Roll or pound out your dough into the shape of your round pizza pan or pizza stone*. If you’re using a metal pan, oil the pan and sprinkle with loads of black pepper. If you’re using a stone, do not oil it, but sprinkle it with flour or cornmeal.

Spread a thinnish layer of sauce on the dough, distribute your now-cooked onions and peppers over it, add the chopped figs, top with clumps of goat cheese, and stick it in the oven.

Watch it pretty closely; when the crust is lightly brown and the cheese is melted, it’s finished!

*Technically, a pizza stone should go into the oven to preheat before cooking, and you should ease the pizza onto it with a pizza peal. But seriously, who has one of those?


  1. I wonder if your dough not doing what you wanted is because you don't have a pizza stone?

  2. The King Arthur pizza dough recipe always works for me: Just make sure you get quality yeast. I took their pizza cooking class. Their classes are amazing. Maybe a possible future trip?

  3. Thanks, Natalie! And, actually, we do have a pizza stone, just not a pizza peal.