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My husband didn’t quite know what to think about this pizza and salad combo at first, but after a few bites he totally got it. Crispy pizza with sweet figs and brie with a little red onion topped with an herbal salad and a sprinkle of Parmesan is a marvelous play of textures and tastes. We especially like how arugula’s bite is perfect against all the cheesy sweetness that lies underneath.
It’s that easy: In a perfect world, every oven would host a pizza stone. It resides on the lowest rack crisping up not only pizza, but the bottoms of pies, tarts and gratins. Its mass helps to hold the heat and its surface is also a great spot to place braises, stews and roasts. I never take mine out. It just lives there in my oven 24/7.
Pizza with Fig, Brie and Arugula
- 10 dried Mission or 8 Calimyrna figs, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1-lb frozen pizza dough, thawed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fig jam
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4-oz Brie, thinly sliced
- 3 cups packed baby arugula
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- If you have a pizza stone, place it on the bottom rack and preheat oven to 450°F.
- Soak the figs in 1 cup very hot water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Drain.
- Roll or stretch out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 16-in circle and place it on a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a pizza peel or rimless cookie sheet.
- Brush the pizza with 1 tablespoon oil and rub the garlic over the top. Lay down a thin layer of jam over the pizza and top it with the figs, onion, salt and pepper and brie.
- Slide the pizza, still on the parchment, off the peel or sheet pan onto the heated pizza stone in the preheated oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottom is crispy and cheese has browned slightly. If you don’t have a pizza stone skip this step and just bake it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. It won’t be as crispy on the bottom and may take a few more minutes to bake.
- While the pizza bakes, toss the arugula in a medium bowl with the lemon and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper.
- Slide the peel under the pizza to remove it from the oven, immediately top with the arugula salad, and sprinkle with the Parmesan. I like how the heat from the pizza wilts the arugula a bit so wait a minute or two before cutting it into slices. Serve hot.
- Make-ahead: The pizza can be assembled and baked without adding the arugula salad on top 2 hours before serving kept at room temperature. Reheat the pizza at 400°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven and top with the arugula salad.
- In the glass: Look for a light white such as a white Pinot Gris or a Pinot Noir for the red.