Fig, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

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This time last year: Iced Sugar Cookies (2012) & How To: Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate (2013)

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I grew up eating fig newtons. That’s about as close as I got to figs.

A box would show up in the pantry if we were lucky, or if my grandmother was coming into town, and my brother and I would sneak one every chance we could!
Fig newtons were not a staple, but they sure were delicious.

I went backpacking through Peru last summer. It was six weeks of the most life I have ever lived, day after day after day. I hiked, I helped build homes, I learned about ancient Incan medicine, I danced in cobblestone bars, I ate avocados fresh from the market like they were going out of style, and I tried, but failed, to learn the names of countless beautiful fruits I had never seen before.

One of those days I was sitting with my group of fellow backpackers, at a beautiful patio table in the courtyard of our hostel in Cusco, and someone brought out an enormous plastic blue bowl full of fruit. They had cut these exotic creations, cleaned them, and here they was- sitting like a pile of jewels, right in front of us.
I ate each piece slowly, trying to imprint those flavors, that beautiful creation, into my memory. It was in this slow and respectful indulgence, that I found myself face to face with my first fig.

It sounds silly, but I think I actually gasped at how beautiful that first fig was! The inside of a fig, in case you have not had this privilege yet, looks like a stained glass window! It has hundreds of tiny little seeds, and a vibrant pink color. There is no other word, but stunning. I will never forget it. The other thing that will not allow me to forget this moment, is the feeling that I should have seen a real fig prior to this moment in my life! We have figs in the states as well, why were fig newtons my primary exposure? I remember laughing at myself as I asked the Spanish name of this familiar fruit, and bit into it with delight.

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This pizza does not have fresh figs (however if you have access to them, you should absolutely include them!), however it does have fig jam. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic, or maybe I was feeling creative, or bold, or adventurous. Whatever the reason, my new all-time favorite pizza recipe ever, has roots in a little big of nostalgia, a little bit of adventure, and nothing but delicious ingredients.

> So- dig in! It’s good to live life fully.

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Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Fruit flavored if you have it! I used a cherry balsamic vinegar!)
  • 1 Naan pizza crust
  • 3 Tablespoons fig jelly/ preserves
  • 1/2 cup Arugula leaves (about 1 handful- more or less to preference!)
  • 1/2 pear, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, to preference
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add the onion slices and sauté until soft and light brown.
  4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cooking for an additional 30 seconds, and then remove from the heat.
  5. Spread the fig jelly in an even layer over the pizza crust, and top with a layer of arugula.
  6. Arrange the pear slices and caramelized onion over the arugula, and then cover with goat cheese and shredded parmesan to your preference!
  7. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust toasted!
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!
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Notes and Tips!:
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen as well! (recipe links found below):

 

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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My boyfriend hates cauliflower, so when I told him I was making a pizza crust out of cauliflower, I thought he would shoot the idea down faster than I could get the words out of my mouth! Changing the essential ingredients that make up pizza- bread and cheese- is probably equivalent to saying decaf is the same as real coffee, or Mondays and Saturdays are equivalent. Those are crazy words, silly ideas.

In all honesty however, I am not a big pizza fan. The commercial, comes in a cardboard box, with a layer of grease and zero nutritional value pizza kind of freaks me out. I love, however, making pizza at home, because it allows for me to have entire creative control- control to use whatever vegetables, flour, cheese, and herbs I want.

When I stumbled upon a few recipes for a pizza made with a cauliflower crust several months ago I knew I had to try it.  By eliminating a bread crust and replacing it with a vegetable, you gain extra nutrients you would not have otherwise. A cauliflower crust also provides an excellent option for those who are gluten free.

My cauliflower-hating boyfriend ate two of these pizzas and absolutely loved them, so you have no excuse not to try them.  Next time you want to order a pizza, consider making one instead. It will be more fun, and no doubt healthier.

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CrustIngredients:

  • ½ head of cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh julienned basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray a light layer of non-stick cooking spray on the foil.
  2. Rinse the cauliflower, cut into sections, and grate the sections of cauliflower on a cheese grater.
  3. Combine the cauliflower and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.
  4. Divide the mix into four parts and press evenly onto the cooking sheet.
  5. Bake the crusts for 12- 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the pizza, top with other ingredients as desired*, and bake for a few more minutes as desired. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4 individual pizzas
  • Source: Fat Girl trapped in a Skinny Body food blog
  • The photos here show a variety of toppings. On one pizza there is a thin layer of pesto, a few spinach and arugula leaves, sliced mushrooms and onion, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. The other pizza has a marinara base with similar toppings. Both turned out wonderfully! Feel free to get creative with this step, adding your favorite veggies and flavors!
  • Looking for more gluten free recipes? Check out the gluten free section on my recipe page here! You will find many more allergy-friendly entrees, snacks, and treats.
  • Like this recipe? Try this Sweet Potato Pizza with Caramalized Onions, Kale, and Goat Cheese!