Just when I am really getting into the groove of warm weather, eating most meals outside, I start hearing crickets.
No, literal crickets. Can you hear them? All day, all night. A consistent outdoor humming.
It’s like the school buses, suddenly they appear. And like that, the veil comes off. Summer is over.With my last son going off to college for the first time in a few weeks, I have no more school buses or sports games to attend. I am officially an empty nester.
Even writing that feels overwhelming to me. It represents so much, and a brand new chapter in my life. I am having a hard time wondering how it got here so fast.
But, for now, I am hanging on to every last second of any of my kids being home, relishing in the last long, warm days and not giving up on summer eating. I love how our bodies naturally attune to the foods available to us and I know, for me, that I actually crave raw greens, fruits and other vegetables that are abundant right now.The other day, my daughter and I made pizza – outdoors. It’s easier than you think and a lot of fun, but takes a little planning.
I have talked about mis en place before, which means “everything in its place” or, in other words, be sure to have your ingredients prepped and ready to go. Grilled pizza only takes a few minutes to cook and time is of the essence. You do not want to be running in for an ingredient at the last minute.I had loads of onions from my garden, and we grabbed fresh figs and arugula from the grocery store. I know, you are wondering why I didn’t have fresh garden arugula. It’s coming. My last round all bolted in the summer heat, and well, thank goodness for grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Arugula loves cool weather.Anyway, out of the kitchen and on to the pizza. I got the inspiration for this pizza from this adorable little cafe my husband and I visited the other day on a day trip. I love figs, I adore arugula and who doesn’t swoon over carmelized onions? It’s a win-win. This pizza is all the things – a little sweet, a little smoky, salty, briny, doughy. It can be served in smaller pieces as an appetizer or bigger as a main dish. I personally had two small pieces and was done. It’s filling, in a good way. Get your ingredients gathered and get the grill on. You might never go back to store bought pizza again.
Grilled Caramelized Onion, Fig and Arugula Pizza
1 ball of whole wheat pizza dough (you can use store bought)
whole wheat or all purpose flour, for dusting
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and more for brushing on the dough
kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons prepared fig jam
6 fresh figs, cut in half
2 large handfuls baby arugula
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
balsamic glaze, for drizzling
1. Heat your grill: heat is the key with grilled pizza. Heat to about 600 degrees F.
2. Prep your dough: leave the dough out of the refrigerator for about an hour before shaping. When at room temperature place the dough on a baking sheet that has been dusted with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking (you might need to dust the dough as well). Shape into a flat oblong disc. The dough might pull back if it is cold so let it rest a bit and stretch it as much as possible without breaking it.
3. Make the caramelized onions: Heat a saute pan with the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the sliced onion with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes, until onions are soft and brown but not burnt. You can make the onions ahead of time too.
4. Gather all your ingredients: have a table close by with all the ingredients ready to go along with tongs and a spatula to flip the dough and to take it off the grill.
5. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Open the lid of the grill and carefully lift the dough, turning it over so it is oil side down. Brush the top side with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cover the grill so you do not let out the heat. Cook for 2 minutes.
6. Flip the dough and add toppings: with the spatula and tongs, quickly flip the dough. Brush the dough with the fig jam and top with the figs and goat cheese. Cover the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes.
7. Carefully remove the pizza off the grill and onto the baking sheet. Cover with arugula and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Cut pizza into slices and eat right away, outdoors :)