It has been a pizza kinda summer around these parts.
Just about every week, we either order take-out pizza or I whip up a homemade one with whatever we have in the fridge. Pizza has always been and always will be one of my favorite foods.
It’s delicious. Duh.
It’s versatile. Fun!
And it is easy! Important.
THIS pizza is a doozy. I’ve made this twice since first testing the recipe a few weeks ago, and Dan and I can’t get enough. The combination of flavors is addicting!
To keep our pizza habit going strong, I love to use store-bought pizza dough. I get mine in the refrigerated bakery section or freezer section. It’s literally just balls of dough that have been made and chilled/frozen. All you have to do is remove it from the fridge and allow it to proof a bit before using (defrost first if using frozen dough!).
I love making my own pizza dough, too, but I don’t always have yeast on hand. So store-bought it is!
This pizza has an addicting combo of sweet figs and smoky mozzarella cheese, along with some tangy balsamic vinegar and peppery arugula. It really hits all the flavor notes.
I’m using fig two ways here: the first being a thin layer of fig jam spread directly on the dough, and the second being halved or quartered dried figs on top of the cheese.
You can totally sub in fresh figs instead, but I have the HARDEST time finding them. They’re only in season for like 2 seconds, so fresh figs are a super special treat around here. The dried work perfectly! And they’re much easier to find (read also: much more wallet friendly).
Once the pizza gets baked until bubbly and gooey and drool worthy, I like to do a healthy drizzle of tangy-sweet balsamic glaze and some peppery arugula lightly tossed in lemon juice. It balances out those sweet figs like a dream.
And that smoky cheese! Swoon.
My husband and I both like our smoked cheese in small quantities. We both find that it often overpowers everything else, leaving us feeling like we sucked on some charcoal. Not exactly what we like. So I cut the smoked mozzarella with some milder Monterey jack cheese. Feel free to swap in whatever cheeses or quantities of cheeses you prefer. A little bit of smoke here is reeeeaaaally nice, even for those of us who are sensitive to that flavor.
I highly recommend it.
I also highly recommend making this ASAP and drinking it with a frosty glass of beer.
Because that’s how summer nights should be spent.
1 lb pizza dough
Flour, for rolling out the dough
Cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
¼ cup fig jam
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
½ cup dried figs, halved or quartered
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3 cups baby arugula
Spritz of fresh lemon juice
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling over top
Parmesan cheese, for grating over top
Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a pizza stone on the middle rack. If you don’t have a pizza stone, place a lightly oiled baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to desired shape and thickness. Sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and then carefully transfer the dough to the pizza peel.
Spread a thin layer of the fig jam over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border of crust around the edges.
Sprinkle the cheeses over top of the jam.
Season with a little salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes, if using, and then carefully transfer the pizza from the pizza peel onto your pizza stone or prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pizza dough is crisp and golden on the bottom and all the toppings are melty and gooey. Meanwhile, toss the arugula with the lemon juice.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool just slightly before topping the pizza with the arugula and a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.
Grate some parmesan over top, slice, and serve.