1. GRILLED FIG, ONION, GORGONZOLA AND BALSAMIC PIZZA
1 red onion- very thinly sliced into rings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
16 ounces pizza dough, divided into two balls ( or divide into 4)
1 garlic clove- smashed
1 cup grated mozzerella
1 cup crumbled gorganzola cheese
8 figs- quartered
Preheat oven to 450 F or set Grill to high heat
Let dough rest on a floured surface 20 minutes.
In a large skillet, saute onion in oil, over medium high heat, stirring frequently 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add a pinch salt. Continue sautéing 10 minutes or so until onions begin to caramelized and become soft. Add balsamic, sugar and pepper. Continue to cook about 3-4 more minutes, until balsamic reduces. Set aside.
Divide dough and stretch into 2 or 4 very thin ovals or rounds.
If grilling, place directly onto the hot grate, and grill 2 to 3 minutes ( until you develop nice grill marks) and flip and grill other side. Set aside and repeat, or if grill is large enough feel free to do more than one at a time.
Rub each crust with smashed garlic, divide and sprinkle the cheeses, top with figs and onions and either place in a hot oven to finish or return to the grill, placing on top of a sheet pan.
Notes: Alternatively, you can bake the pizza in the oven on a sheet pan or hot pizza stone, topping the raw dough with cheeses and figs, then placing in the oven. Bake until the pizzas are cooked through, about 9-11 minutes, remembering that the thinner the crust, the faster they will cook.
Pull out from the oven top with a sprinkling of arugula and serve immediately.
2. FRESH FIG ARUGULA SALAD WITH BLACKBERRIES
4 cups freshly washed and dried arugula leaves
4 - 6 fresh figs washed, stems removed and quartered or sliced in 1/8ths
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette ingredients first to allow flavours to blend. Set aside.
On a serving platter, arrange arugula leaves. Top with quartered figs, blackberries, and teaspoon-sized lumps of goat cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Just before serving, drizzle Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette over all.
3. BAKED FIGS WITH HONEY AND RICOTTA
6 medium-sized figs
2.8 oz ricotta or soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 tablespoons honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 °C or 390 °F. Cut off the stems and make an X cut in the top of each fig half way through.
Stuff the figs with chosen cheese using a teaspoon. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts and sage over your stuffed figs and drizzle them with honey. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Broil for about 5 minutes or until they look soft and release juice. Serve them warm or cold.
4. HONEY WALNUT FIG CHEESECAKE BARS
for the crust
½ cup walnuts
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
for the honey cheesecake
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
⅓ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
6 fresh figs, sliced thin lengthwise (wait to slice until the very end)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the walnuts, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Pulse until the mixture resembles a fine sand and the walnuts are completely pulverized. Pour in butter and pulse until it comes together. Press the crust firmly and evenly into the pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whip cream cheese and eggs until light and fluffy. Add in honey, vanilla, and salt, mixing until combined. Pour over prepared crust.
Place the 9x9 pan in a water bath (you will need a larger pan filled with 1 inch of water) and place everything into the oven. Bake for 1 hour, then allow the cheesecake to cool completely (about 4 hours).
Once cooled, arrange the fresh fig slices over the cheesecake. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the figs to fit around the perimeter.