I had a ‘pizza day’ yesterday. Usually on pizza day I make nine pizzas, as they are great kept in the fridge, wrapped in foil, for snacks and lunches in the coming days. I did make nine yesterday, two of them being this combo – Fig & Olive. I had made one Fig & Goat’s cheese (very nice), and my daughter, not keen on goat’s cheese, complained that she would like to try the figs. What can I substitute for the cheese here…? I was thinking. A jar of black olives called to me, and the pizza was born. We all agreed the Fig & Olive was even better than the Fig & Goat’s cheese and I immediately whipped up another, which is now resting in the fridge, on leftovers duty.
The quantities given here are for one pizza but they are easy enough to multiply if you fancy making more. Two or three, or nine maybe? Enjoy!
- 1 quantity pizza dough (use your favourite dough recipe here, I like the River Cottage ‘Magic Dough’ for pizzas at the moment, but have used many over the years. My dough ball weighed 280g)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for various purposes
- 2 small or 1 large red onion
- Salt, pepper and pinch of caster sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 fresh figs
- approx 12 kalamata olives in brine, pitted (I think it is essential to use a good quality olive here)
- 1 125g ball mozzarella cheese
Obviously the first thing to do is to prepare your dough and leave it to prove. Once you have done that and it is proving nicely, turn your attention to the red onions – heat up a frying pan over a gentle heat. While it is heating, peel and slice the onions very thinly. Put a splash of oil into the pan and add the onions and some salt and pepper, and the pinch of sugar. Stir the onions around and then leave them to cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and caramelised and rich in flavour. This will take about 40 minutes or so so be patient, you don’t have to watch them like a hawk you just need to keep an eye on them. When they are done to your liking turn off the heat and leave them in the pan till you are ready to use them.
Preheat your oven to it’s highest setting, with the fan on if you have that option, and put your baking tray in there to heat up too.
Get all your toppings ready before you roll out your dough – strip the rosemary leaves from the stalk and finely chop it. Quarter the figs. Take the mozzarella out of it’s packaging and drain it.
Now roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, to match the shape of your tray. Take hot tray out of the oven and brush it lightly with oil, then transfer the pizza base to the tray. I find this a relatively easy way to get a crisper base. Try to work quite quickly while you are topping the pizza so you can get the hot tray back in the oven as soon as possible…
Start with the fried onions, then scatter over the rosemary. Now arrange the fig quarters, and place the olive strategically around amongst the other toppings. Take your ball of mozzarella and tear it over the pizza. Finally, drizzle with extra virgin oil and a sprinkle of salt and get that baby in the oven!!!
I cook my pizzas for 11 minutes in a very very hot oven. You might want to start checking yours at 10 minutes, or leave it in there for longer, it depends on your taste and your oven…but 11 minutes should do it.