Grilled Pizza with Fig, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese

Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese

The figs are here! The figs are here! This alone is exciting news in my house, but getting to them in our backyard before the birds? That’s really something to be thrilled about. With my excitement comes a fun and simple recipe for Grilled Pizza with Fig, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese.

Grilled pizza is something I’ve been meaning to try, but never have until now. I think this might be the only way I ever make pizza again! I love it, and think you will too. It reminds me of restaurant-style pizza cooked in a brick oven.

Grill your pizza! Add figs, prosciutto and blue cheese

This Grilled Pizza with Fig, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese has a great flavor combo: the salty blue cheese and prosciutto, the sweet figs, the peppery arugula, and the smoky pizza crust.

As if pizza couldn’t get any better, consider that it only takes a few minutes to cook this pizza on a grill.

Fresh purple figs

A huge fig tree grows tall and wide in our backyard. From the time we planted it as a scrawny twig, we’ve nurtured it and waited for it to produce its deep purple fruit. And now, twice a year, this beautiful tree is overflowing with dark figs. Most every season, the birds get to our figs before we do. They take a few bites from one before moving on to the next, leaving nothing for us but partially eaten fruit.

But this summer, somehow, we (barely) beat the birds and decided that Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese would be the first thing to make with our bounty.

My original thought was to make this into a bruschetta recipe. You know – the sort you’ve likely seen at your favorite wine bar or Italian restaurant. Then I thought it might be a little more fun to turn this into pizza. So glad I did!

Grilled Pizza

You need to work quickly when grilling pizza, and plan to have your ingredients nearby. I made this pizza as two smaller “personal” pizzas because it’s easier to work with two smaller rounds of dough than one large one.

I was pleasantly surprised with the result of the crust: a slightly charred and crispy outer crust, and a soft bite on the inside. If you can find fresh figs in your area, Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese is the way to go for a fab summer meal.

Recipe for Grilled Pizza with Figs, Prosciutto and Blue Cheese
Serves 2-4

Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza

Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza

Pull a seasonal pizza from the oven this time of year — one that’s a bit off the beaten path. This recipe for Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza fits the bill!

Pizza, and more pizza

My husband, my mom, and I were in Italy recently. What a great trip! We were tourists, I did a little work, we visited family, and we ate. We ate well! In fact, we’re still coming down from our pizza high. Seriously. We ate pizza five times in the first five days while we were there. I think we skipped pizza on the sixth day, then started back up again. It never got old! And the toppings were always interesting.

Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza

A pizza for the season

Pizza is great for so many reasons, but especially because no matter what you put on it, it usually works out pretty well. I wanted to try making a pizza using seasonal ingredients. This time of year, that means Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Pancetta Pizza. What a treat!

Enjoy a slice of pie: Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza

As the pizza cooks, the Brussels sprouts crisp up slightly while still keeping their tenderness. Paired with sweet butternut squash and salty pancetta, you’ve got a great combo. I added Mozzarella cheese as the base, then sprinkled grated Parmesan over the top after it cooled down slightly.

Why not make the most of seasonal ingredients? Try this recipe for Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza for a fun fall pizza party!

Recipe for Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pizza
Serves 2

Spicy Giardiniera Pizza Bites
(Vegetarian Recipe)

I put some spice in these bites

I follow a lovely blog called She Makes and Bakes, where I find recipes and photos that make me drool! When I saw the recipe for Pizza Bites, I wanted them, and fast! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to make them until recently, but I didn’t stop thinking about them, and I knew mine would become spicy giardiniera pizza bites.

Finally (finally!) I found a chunk of time to make a version of She Makes and Bakes’ doughy rounds. I filled my pizza bites with mozzarella cheese and a spicy giardiniera, which is a mixture of pickled veggies like carrots, peppers, cauliflower, celery, and other things. Giardiniera is a staple in many Italian kitchens, and it’s easy to find at most grocery stores.

Rise to the occasion

As you know, my family is filled with bakers, from my parents to aunts and uncles to cousins. Normally I would have used my mom or dad’s recipe for the pizza dough, but (believe it or not) I don’t have a copy and my mom was traveling. So I went to the next-best, non-family resource, and used a King Arthur Flour pizza dough recipe. The dough came out really nice, and since I reduced the recipe by half, it gave me the perfect amount of dough to form 20 spicy giardiniera pizza bites. I can’t wait to use my mom and dad’s pizza dough recipe for next time!

Recipe for Spicy Giardiniera Pizza Bites
Makes 20 Pizza Bites

Escarole Pizza with White Bean Spread and Caramelized Onions

Escarole Pizza with White Bean Spread and Caramelized Onions is a great pie to serve any time of year. The recipe doesn’t include much tomato sauce, and the white bean spread gives the pizza its heartiness. The combo of the slightly bitter greens and the sweet, caramelized onions is fantastic!

Growing up, my family often ate escarole, or “scarol” as it was pronounced in my house. I wasn’t always a huge fan, as it has a slightly bitter taste – not something kids really like all that much. Escarole is part of the chicory-endive-radicchio family, but the bitterness isn’t overwhelming. You can add it to salads, soups or stews, cook it up with pasta, or serve it as a side dish.

I love how the curly outer leaves of a head of escarole are a pretty, vibrant green shade, and get lighter as you move to the heart of the head.

In my opinion, caramelized onions pair really well with escarole – you get the sweet with the slightly bitter for a great combination. Serve it on pizza for a great pie!

Recipe for Escarole Pizza with White Bean Spread and Caramelized Onions:
Serves 4

Zucchini Ribbon and Ricotta Pizza

One of the great things about pizza is that you can use so many different ingredients and it still turns out to be a crowd pleaser: red sauce, no sauce, vegetables of all types, meats, seafood, baked, grilled, thin crust or thick. I love just about any sort of pizza — give or take a few toppings. Zucchini Ribbon and Ricotta Pizza is light and refreshing, and one of my new favorites!

Here comes the heat

In Phoenix, the temperature just hit the 100-degree mark. It’s still April but we all know what lurks beyond…the unrelenting 110-degree-and-above, all-consuming heat. Day into night into day. For the next five months, give or take.

Light, fresh and tasty

When the temperature is that hot, I look for dishes that are light and that don’t load you down. This pizza hit the mark this week.

The pretty, green zucchini “ribbons” make a fun presentation and they taste great combined with the other flavors included in this pizza: lemon zest, garlic, ricotta, Kalamata olives and pine nuts. It’s light, fresh, and makes a perfect spring or summer dish.

This is when I should say, “Bring on the heat,” but I just can’t. I know it’s coming.

Recipe for Zucchini Ribbon and Ricotta Pizza

Recipe adapted from Sun-Maid

Serves 4