Foggy and cold it may be, but ugly it is not. Fog for me is still a bit of a novelty, and I like to think San Francisco is like a person who's hard to get to know, hiding behind a sheet of fog, but when you finally do break through that barrier, those are the kind of people who will be your friend for life, and I hope San Francisco will. Incidently, bridges look way more mysterious and romantic when they appear out of nowhere, fading into the abyss. Or in this case, Oakland.
I have made the below pizza many times already this summer, it is just the perfect combination of flavours and really highlights the figs, and even though I only have a few crappy phone snaps of it, definitely wanted to share it as its my favourite dinner this summer.
I first had a similar pizza to this at Pizza Flamingo in Paris. Though they used dried figs and I cant remember if they used caramalised onion or not. Pizza Flamingo is a chain of pizzerias with a bit of a bad-ass (at least for paris) twist. They have a restaurant near Canal Saint Martin, so I ate their pizzas both at work when working late, and also when picnicing by the canal on a summer evening. They also had a great system of delivery: you could rock up to their window and order and pay for your pizzas, then they would give you a helium balloon so that wherever you ended up by the canal the delivery guy could find you very easily. Genius!
Fig, Gorgonzola, Proscuitto and caramised onion Pizza.
Pizza base (makes enough for 6 pizzas, freezes very well, based on a recipe by Jamie Oliver)
1kg (2.2 lbs) plain flour or tipo 00 flour if you can get it
2 sachets of active dried years (each sachet 7grams)
1 teaspoon salt
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
In a jug mix 600ml of luke warm water, the olive oil, sugar and yeast. Leave for 10 minutes or untill the top is very frothy.
Into a large bowl mix the flour and salt. Pour in the water-yeast mix and combine with your hands until i forms a rough ball.
Tip the dough onto a well flour work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. I find this therapeutic and rewarding but feel free to use a dough hook on a stand mixer if you'd prefer.
Leave the dough in an oiled bowl, covered in a clean teatowel to double in size (around 1 hour, depending on the temperature in your house!)
After it has risen, punch the dough (literally), thus geting the air out of it. Roll into a rough ball again, and seperate into 6 balls. At this stage, if you wish to freeze some, just wrap them well in plastic wrap and pop them into the freezer.
For use straight away, roll out the pizza dough (around 40cm diameter)
2 large onions
1 tbsp sugar
4 slices Proscuito
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola dolce or similar blue cheese
6-8 figs, cut into quarters
First you must caramlise the onions. I often do a triple batch of this at once and freeze it in small bags.
Using a mandoline or by hand if you havnt got one, thinly slice the 2 peeled large onions.
Into a pan put 2 tbsp oil and all of the onions (these may be piled high in the pan but will reduce down)
Fry on a medium heat for 30-40 minutes until caramalised and soft. Add the sugar and a good pinch of salt, and cook a further 2 minutes.
On the rolled out pizza base spread the caramalised onions, then scatter over the cheese, proscuitto and finally the figs. Sometimes I like to drizzle a tiny bit of honey over the figs at this stage.
Cook in a super hot oven (220deg C or 450 F) until the base is crisp and the cheese has melted (5-6 minutes but depends on the oven).
Cut and serve with a glass of rosé with plenty of ice.