Pizza inspirations – fig, Brie and Prosciutto

by Jeanne on November 3, 2007

in NaBloPoMo 2007, No recipe required

20070921_figbrieprosciuttopizzarawoWeekends here at Chez Cooksister are pizza time.  The last hour at work on Friday is made bearable only by the thought that soon I can come home, put on my comfy clothes, sip some red wine and chat to Nick while I make pizzas for dinner.  Quite a far cry from my student days when Friday night meant dressing up, going out and drinking my own body weight in dry white wine at Cadillac Jacks, Tequila Sunrise or other such classic Port Elizabeth haunts. 

I think it's called "growing up" :)

OK, so when I say "make pizzas", don't get the wrong impression.  Because I seldom plan more than an hour in advance when it comes to cooking, I never manage to make pizza dough during the week.  And come Friday night, when I roll in at about 19h30, there is no way on this earth that a natural bake-o-phobic like me is going to start making pizza dough.  Yes, I have made my own and yes, it is better.  But mostly, life (and more specifically, my Friday night!) is too short. 

But just as there is a midway between a McDonalds happy meal and having to grind your own beef for burger patties, there is a happy medium somewhere on the pizza continuum between making your own dough and buying an out-of-the-box Mighty Meaty or some other rape of the Italian culinary heritage.  I have found that the Tesco Organic plain Margarita pizza bases are not bad at all.  They aren't too thick and crisp up nicely, and they have a good tomato base.  Cheese is a bit dubious, but you can always scrape a bit off, as I do. 

The only trick is to attempt to get your oven as hot as it will go; and to use a pizza stone if you have one (I'm still dreaming dreamy dreams about this one!), or if not, a thin metal20070921_figbrieprosciuttopizzacook  baking sheet that will conduct heat evenly.  Heat the baking sheet in the oven before putting the pizza base on it – this will also help to crisp the base. 

And then, go wild with toppings.  This particularly delicious, gorgeous and seasonal combination consists of 1 large ripe fig sliced into thin segments, about 50g thinly sliced Brie and 3-4 slices of Prosciutto, torn and scattered on the pizza.  Even Nick (who, I believe deep down to be a Mighty Meaty kinda guy…) admitted that it was fantastic "for a girly pizza".

It's just non-stop adulation over here…

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew November 3, 2007 at 9:19 pm

Yeh, looks quite nice. ;-)

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Robert November 3, 2007 at 9:44 pm

That looks fantastic! Such a nice and ‘light’ combination of flavours.
If you want a pizza stone you can get a very good quality one off Amazon UK – that is where I got mine. The price is very reasonable and it helps not only with pizzas but also for making authentic rustic style bread.

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lydia hamre November 4, 2007 at 3:59 am

Wow, this looks wonderful! I can’t for the life of me find figs in any market near me, I’m very sad.

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Charlotte November 4, 2007 at 6:05 am

Sounds delicious. And what a great idea, to take a basic pizza base and customise it.

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Kit November 4, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Looks delicious – we had pizza last night too and I did make the dough, but it’s a quick one and we don’t get Tesco Organic here! Spar’s best might not compare. Still not up to Italian pizza but good enough to please the kids. We are only allowed one topping combination – spinach and salami, and as it’s the only time they ever eat spinach I go with it!

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African Vanielje November 5, 2007 at 9:57 am

Are you sure this wasn’t me making a pizza Jeanne? This is my most wanted pizza, sandwich, salad in the fig season. Great minds think alike. Love the broad bean tart too, and love the idea of NaBlPoMo (did I get that right?), but the reality is it is already the 5th and no post from me.

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Jeanne November 5, 2007 at 11:34 am

Hi Andrew,
You remain, as always, the master of the understatement…!
Hi Robert,
I can’t recommend the combinatio of sweet and salty flavours enough – it was truly one of my better ideas! Thanks for the tip on the pizza stone – it’s one of the things I keep saying I’ll treat myself to.
Hi Lydia
Oh dear – what a pity. I think their season is pretty much done though, and I don’t think dried figs will do as nicely. But hey, there’s always next year!
Hi Charlotte
Lots of customisation of pizza bases goes on in our house – it’s my mom’s legacy ;-) There will be another similar customisation inspiration coming up in a week or so…
Hi Kit
Mmmmmm, spinach and salami! That’s one I haven’t tried. My favourite pizza for years (and my introduction to eating spinach) was the spinach, feta and bacon pizza from Cranzgots in Plett – so I’m with your kids on this one :)
Hi Inge
Isn’t this combo the best?! Also reminds me of those piegata sandwiches that Johanna brought to the honey tasting – it just works on everything! And do try the broad bean tart – its fab hot or cold. ANd as for NaBloPoMo – it’s terrifying and exhilarating in equal measures. Next year, a bunch of us should do it together so we can encourage each other!

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S November 5, 2007 at 2:02 pm

This is a sensational pizza, Jeanne. What’s not to love about prosciutto, figs, and brie? I’m going to the Italian deli today to buy prosciutto for another dish, and I have brie and figs at home, so guess what I’ll be making this week? Thanks for giving me a reason to make pizza (I’ll worship you forever now, you know.) By the way, I just posted a watercress, pear, and brie salad, so we’ve got that simultaneous thing going on again. ;)

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Susan from Food Blogga November 5, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Oops, let’s try this again. My name says “S” on the above comment. It’s me, Susan from Food Blogga. :)

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Sarah Pipilini November 5, 2007 at 2:31 pm

‘Quite a far cry from my student days when Friday night meant dressing up, going out and drinking my own body weight in dry white wine at Cadillac Jacks, Tequila Sunrise or other such classic Port Elizabeth haunts’
I’m NOT even going to go there……………..

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Jeanne November 7, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Hi Susan
Oooooh, I’ll have a worshipper! Cool ;-) Seriously, you will LOVE this pizza. It really is one of the best combos I’ve tasted.
Hi Sarah
Ja, best you DON’T go there!!! :o)

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