Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaAround this time every year, I draw a bit of a blank when it comes to this blog. I mean, I have plenty of ideas, but they are all autumn-related right now and I am a stickler for seasons. I know it’s getting cooler and the light is changing and all that, but it is technically still summer.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaWe still have some berries and decent tomatoes left, but my desire to work with them has waned considerably—the pumpkin tunnel-vision is real, y’all. It doesn’t help that my social media feeds have been loaded with autumnal treats since August 15th. Regardless, I’m holding out on pumpkin and apples until September 21st. Nine more days.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaSo, if I’m done with most summer produce and am not ready for fall, what’s left? Figs. So many figs. They are everywhere right now!
Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaYou know what goes great with fresh figs? Salty prosciutto. And arugula. And gorgonzola. And balsamic vinegar.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI could have taken all of these things and made a salad or something, but instead I threw them all on a pizza and you should, too.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI take great pride in the quality of pizza I make at home. So many homemade pizzas come out on the bready side of things, which is great if that’s what you’re into, but it simply does not appeal to me. Instead, I go for a dough that is simple and stretchy, baking up paper thin in the center and puffy and chewy at the edges. Here it’s covered with a thin layer of tomato sauce and a few ounces of fresh mozzarella, along with prosciutto and some quartered figs.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI let it start in a 500F oven before pulling it out, scattering some crumbled gorgonzola and a few more figs over the top (for variance in texture), and then throwing it under the broiler. I like to let it get a little crispy for a coal-oven-esque flavor.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaNext comes a bed of arugula that’s been tossed with olive oil. I love the contrast of these peppery greens with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the jammy figs.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaThis pizza gets finished off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar that’s been reduced to a thick, sweet syrup. Mmhmm.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaOh, y’all. This is really good. Like I-ate-half-a-pizza-and-feel-absolutely-no-remorse good.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaIt’s a good thing the recipe makes two pizzas. That’s one for you and one for me, okay?!Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza
makes 2 pizzas

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 batch Pizza Dough (2 dough balls)
4-6 tablespoons strained tomatoes, tomato purée, or other sauce, divided
6-8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces, divided
4 ounces prosciutto, sliced into bite-sized pieces, divided
8-10 fresh black figs, trimmed and quartered, divided
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles, divided (optional)
2 cups baby arugula, packed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

If you have an in-oven broiler, place one rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Preheat oven to 500F for at least one hour–the entire oven needs to be very hot.

While the oven is heating, reduce the balsamic vinegar. Pour it into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup. Transfer to a small bowl. Aside.

When oven has heated for one hour, flour 2 rimmed baking sheets, tapping out any excess.

Flour your hands. Working with one ball of risen pizza dough at a time, place your hands (palms down underneath the dough, lifting it from the pan it rose on. Moving your hands slowly, let dough stretch with gravity, moving your hands slowly in a circular motion to allow for even stretching. Gently place dough on one of the prepared pans. Stretch further with your fingertips until the desire shape is reached. Pinch the edges to form a crust. Set aside while you stretch and shape the other ball of dough.

Working with one pizza at a time, pour 2-3 tablespoons of sauce in the center. Use a spoon or ladle to spread the sauce in a circular motion, leaving blank space at the crust. Scatter torn mozzarella over the top, followed by 2 ounces of prosciutto and 3 quartered figs (12 quarters). Set aside while you top the other pizza.

Working with one pizza at a time, bake pizza (in the lightly-floured pan) for 6-8 minutes on the floor of your oven. Remove from oven. Lift edges with a spatula to ensure bottom crust is browned. If it isn’t, bake for an additional 1-2 minutes, checking bottom crust after each minute. Repeat process with other pizza.

If you do not have an in-oven broiler, turn off oven and heat broiler for 5-10 minutes, until very hot. If you do have an in-oven broiler, turn it on and proceed immediately.

Scatter 2 tablespoons gorgonzola crumbles and 1-2 more quartered figs (4-8 quarters) over each pizza.

Broil each pizza 1-4 minutes, until crust and cheese are bubbly and a bit charred. Check pizzas after each minute, and every 30-45 seconds after the 2 minute mark. My pizzas broil in 2 1/2-3 minutes. I like to rotate the pans after 1 1/2 minutes for even browning. Let pizzas cool for five minutes in their pans.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss together arugula and olive oil.

Remove pizzas to cutting board(s). Top with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic reduction (you will have leftover reduction). Slice pizzas with a sharp chef’s knife (or pizza cutter) and serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Arugula will wilt over time.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

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Parmesan & Prosciutto Scones

Parmesan & Prosciutto SconesLet me start off by saying thank you for the enthusiastic reaction to On Weight Loss & Eating Habits. It was far beyond my wildest expectations! Thanks to all who liked, shared, commented, and gave feedback. That post is now far-and-away the most popular on this site.

And now, let’s talk about scones. I love a good scone. Soft, buttery centers and crunchy, nubbly edges? Sign me up.

Parmesan & Prosciutto SconesThere are already three scone recipes on this site: a Blackberry Lime recipe that would be a great way to use all those delicious summer berries, a Salted Grapefruit variety that’s perfect for fall and winter, and a Gingerbread version that you should definitely plan to make over the holidays. But today, I’m delving into the savory side of things with these fantastic Parmesan & Prosciutto Scones.

This recipe is inspired by some scones I had at Darwin’s, a small chain of coffee shops in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two weeks ago, when my parents and I were helping my little sister move into her new apartment, one of my jobs was to keep everyone caffeinated. I popped into Darwin’s many times for large iced coffees and sustenance. Aside from trying many of their breakfast sandwiches (all fantastic, by the way), on the morning that we went insane and decided to paint my sister’s room, I picked up three Parmesan & Prosciutto scones. Cheesy and full of salty prosciutto, they were just what we needed to keep us from collapsing.

Parmesan & Prosciutto SconesParmesan & Prosciutto SconesBut, being a baker, I had to nitpick. The scones were certainly good, but far too salty. They needed a little sweetness to balance out all of the cheese and ham. I decided right then and there that I would make them myself with a few adjustments, and two weeks later, here they are.

Parmesan & Prosciutto SconesParmesan & Prosciutto SconesAnd oh, are they ever good. They’re super buttery, full of Parmesan and bits of salty prosciutto, and have a little bite from freshly ground black pepper. A couple of tablespoons of honey round out the flavor, keeping everything savory, but not too salty. These scones are just right.

My Parmesan & Prosciutto Scones are better than those that inspired them, if I do say so myself. They’re perfect for a weekend breakfast, or topping with thick slices of tomato for the best tomato sandwich of your life.Parmesan & Prosciutto SconesParmesan & Prosciutto SconesParmesan & Prosciutto Scones
makes 8 scones

2/3 cup whole milk + more for brushing, very cold
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
4-ounces prosciutto, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces

For Topping:
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for after baking (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Make the scones. Pour whole milk into a measuring cup. Whisk in honey and mustard. Chill while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir in Parmesan cheese and prosciutto, using your fingers to separate any pieces that are stuck together. Use a pastry blender to cut in cold butter until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in milk mixture with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Use your fingertips to shape dough into a 1-inch thick circle. Slice into eight wedges with a large chef’s knife. Remove cut scones to prepared baking sheet.

Top the scones. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and honey. Brush the mixture over the tops of the cut scones. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake scones for 13-15 minutes, moving the pan from the top to the bottom rack at the 7 minute mark. Sprinkle scones with more cheese after baking, if desired. Let scones cool on the pan for ten minutes before serving.

Scones are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.