Photo by Mary Smiley
Provenance of Dish
It was fig season (late summer) and fresh figs in the market are just perfectly ripe and sweet. I got to wondering how figs would pare with mushrooms and thought perhaps black trumpets would be good. I had some pizza dough I made in the freezer, and had the figs and some fresh ricotta so I started to dig through the fridge to see what else would work. Aha...Porchetta, shallots, fresh thyme, pine nuts, lemons and onions. This is how it went down
Pizza Dough: Recipe by Deborah Madison
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast
3 cups bread flower, or more as needed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Put the warm water in a mixing bowl and stir in yeast, sugar and 1 cup flour. Set aside until foamy, 20-30 min. Lightly oil a clean bowl for the dough.
Stir in the salt and oil, then start stirring in the flour until the dough is fairly stiff. When too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead until the dough is smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed.
Put the dough in the oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
Divide into 2 or 4 equal pieces, shape loosely into balls then roll out into thin circles.
½ of recipe above (cut the dough in half and use half and freeze the other half, or make two pizzas)
2 yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced
2 T butter
2-3 slices of porchetta (substitute with pancetta if no porchetta but use a little more because the slices will be thinner)
1 finely chopped shallot
1 small handful of dehydrated black trumpet mushrooms
1 sprig fresh thyme with leaves removed and chopped
¼ C pine nuts
juice of ¼ lemon
1 C fresh figs halved or quartered depending on size
1 C ricotta
2 T balsamic vinegar glaze or reduction
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with your pizza stone in the oven on the middle rack.
Start by rehydrating your dried mushrooms in warm to hot water until softened and rehydrated.
Caramelize the onions.
In a large saute pan with the butter, add the sliced onions over medium high heat and allow to start softening and cooking down. Once the onions start getting soft, turn the heat down to medium or medium low and only stir every once in a while to allow them contact with the pan so they start to brown. Add a little pinch of salt. Some people will add a pinch of sugar as well.
This process will take 20+ minutes to complete. Don't rush it or you will burn your onions. You want them golden not black. Once done, remove from pan and set aside.
Add shallots to pan and give them some time to caramelize.
Add your rehydrated mushrooms and cook over medium heat. Add some fresh thyme and lemon juice and continue cooking until cooked through. 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add fresh figs to pan and saute until browned a little and softened. Try to use figs that are not super soft. If they are too soft, just warm through and don't worry about browning.
Add mushrooms and shallots back to the pan.
Roll out the dough. It is best if you have a ceramic pizza stone and a wooden peel to transfer the pizza to the oven.
Once the dough is rolled out, put it onto your peel. (put some course ground corn meal on the peel so they act like ball bearings for the dough so you can wiggle it off the peel onto the stone.
Onto the raw dough, gently smear the ricotta and then cover the ricotta with the caramelized onions.
Add the mushrooms and figs and spread out over the dough.
Tear the porchetta and arrange it over the mushrooms and figs, and sprinkle the pine nuts all over. Add little clumps of burrata if you want or you can wait a few minutes after it's been in the oven, and add it so it doesn't fall apart too much. Or just leave it off if you think it's too much.
Gently transfer the pizza dough over to the hot pizza stone giving it a little shake to keep it loose on the corn meal and let it go onto the stone.
Bake the pizza for 10 minutes or until the edges brown and the center bubbles.
Pull out of the oven and drizzle the top with balsamic glaze or balsamic reduction. (you can buy this already made or just cook down some balsamic vinegar in a pan until syrupy)