Pizza With Figs, Goat Cheese and Walnut Pesto

Whenever I happen upon a fig—wrapped in pancetta, drizzled with honey, or spun into jam—my taste buds are always pleased. Surprisingly, I’ve never actually made anything with figs, and when I saw the black mission variety on sale yesterday at Whole Foods (organic to boot) I decided to change this. As I placed the fresh figs in my basket, I immediately thought of pizza. And goat cheese. Maybe some grilled chicken for protein. Oh and then there’s the walnut pesto that Russo’s makes. My mouth was already watering. But as I walked home, I started thinking that since I’ve been on a pesto kick of late, I could probably try making the walnut paste myself. Which I did later that afternoon. While I tried to keep accurate measurements of my ingredients so I could share them on MBM, that quickly went out the window in favor of my usual “to taste” method. What I can tell you is this: start with 1 cup of walnuts, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a 1/4 cup of flat parsley leaves, a clove of garlic, and a couple of tablespoons of grated romano cheese. Put it all in a food processor, and keep adding ingredients as it purees until the pesto is the taste and consistency you desire. I added more of everything, including another clove of garlic. I also put a tablespoon of lemon juice in at the end. The result was really tasty.

As for the figs, I researched how to prepare them online and, before putting them on the pizza, I sliced them lengthwise and let them marinate in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I usually cook my pizzas for 20 minutes, using Whole Foods organic whole wheat crusts, and I added the figs at the 10 minute mark. I also topped the pizza with the pesto, grilled chicken, crumbled goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. It was delightful. One of the best pizzas I’ve ever made. The figs added little bursts of sweetness and melded so nicely with the slight sharpness of the goat cheese and the garlicky, nutty pesto. I highly, highly, recommend adding figs to a pizza. We liked it so much, I’m thinking of making another one tonight!

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