I love fresh figs. Growing up we had these all the time as they were an Italian staple. One of my favorite ways to enjoy figs are to have them sliced with fresh Homemade Italian Style Ricotta Cheese with a drizzle of honey atop some fresh crostini. I could make a meal out of this alone and have! Many times!
This flatbread pizza goes together in no time flat, and what really makes this stand out is the sweet and tangy zip from the Balsamic reduction. This is easy peasy, but is such a sophisticated and sexy way to add flavor to anything from summer fresh strawberries, to salads, to dinner pizzas, like this Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread with Bacon. This truly can be a dinner, with the peppery zing of the baby arugula and the balsamic reduction.
This recipe is so versatile, you can add prosciutto, fry up some pancetta, use slab bacon, use baby greens instead of arugula. It is truly up to you. You can even use feta in place of the goat cheese, but I will say the goat cheese in this recipe is superb.
I hope you give this a try. It sounds like the ingredients wouldn’t work in perfect unison, but they really do! I always have homemade pizza dough frozen and ready to go, but I found a cheat that is perfect for this and cuts time in having to defrost the dough or make more from scratch. If you can find European Bakery Flatbread I urge you to give it a try. It is found in my grocery store, Stop & Shop, in the refrigerated section and it is perfect. I use this and the puff pastry they make and I am pleased with both. They also make a pizza dough, but I have yet to try that.
I hope you feel inspired to give this Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread with Bacon a try. With summer coming vegetables and fruits will be at their peak of freshness and will make this extra special.
This is how the balsamic reduction starts out. Nothing fancy just some rank balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, now when I say rank, I mean your kitchen will smell vinegary, my boys had some other colorful words for the smell, but that’s not for repeating, the taste is amazing regardless of the smell of the vinegar, promise! After about 25 minutes, you have a sexy, thick, insanely good reduction for drizzling over anything from some oven fried potatoes, to strawberries and mint! Yum!!
Now…she thick and lovely! Perfection. This is what you want. This is a proper reduction. You don’t need to babysit this, let it simmer after it boils, and stir periodically and let it do its thing.
Make sure to dock it all over so it will be less likely to puff up, mine still puffed up in some spots, I just poked it some more and showed it whose boss!
This is all the lovely goodness right here. Fresh figs are a must for this. They are in season now and I am a happy girl!
A 10 minute pre-bake and some light spots which are signs of some good eating on the horizon. Add more EVOO as needed before topping with the figs, goat cheese, and bacon. Bake another 12-15 minutes or until goat cheese is melted but isn’t brown, I like to retain the integrity of the goat cheese and over baking will take away the taste of it.
Begin to get your arugula ready, a drizzle of EVOO, some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper is perfect. I love the peppery bite from the arugula, it is so sophisticated! Truly one of my favorite salad greens. It is so versatile!
Remove flatbread from the oven. Drizzle immediately with some of your glorious balsamic reduction, add the arugula and drizzle some more EVOO and get ready to be amazed. This is a sexy, light delicious salad pizza! Lovely!
Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread with Bacon
An sophisticated step up from the ordinary flatbread!
- You can use slab bacon, prosciutto, or smoked ham, if you prefer
- 1 pkg. of flatbread pizza dough or homemade if desired
- 2 cups of arugula
- 4 oz. of goat cheese
- 6 oz. of fresh figs
- 7 pieces of bacon cooked and roughly chopped or crumbled
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
For the Balsamic Reduction
- 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1 3/4 tbsp. of pure maple syrup (no cheap knock offs here) you can use brown sugar if you don’t have pure maple syrup)
For the Balsamic Reduction
- In a saucepan add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and bring to a boil over medium heat. When mixture comes to a boil, turn heat to a simmer and reduce liquid simmering for 20-25 minutes until reduction becomes syrupy and thick, coating the back of a spoon and is reduced in volume by half. This is truly nectar of the Gods! Store any remaining in the fridge for two weeks.
For the Flatbread
- Preheat oven to 425°. On a sheet pan drizzle with some EVOO, and begin to roll out the dough. If using the Welwalka brand I use, it comes with parchment paper, discard this, you don’t need it for this application.
- Lay out flatbread on oiled baking sheet, roll up sides if desired. It doesn’t have to be perfect, this is a rustic salad pizza.
- Crumble goat cheese by hand, slice figs thinly or you can leave in large chunks, I prefer to slice them. Gather your pre-cooked bacon, either slice or crumble, your call.
- I like to pre-bake my flatbread, so if you do too, put it in the oven, for about 10 minutes, dock it with a fork to minimize dough puffing up, (docking is a fancy term for pricking it with a fork). The dough may brown in some spots, which is perfectly ok, because you will be putting the toppings over it and no one will be the wiser, and this will not affect the taste!
- After pre baking, remove from oven, drizzle with a bit of EVOO over top before placing the figs, goat cheese and then the bacon. Filling in as much space as you can, in somewhat even proportions. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. Allowing the goat cheese to melt but no brown!
- In a large bowl add in arugula, and drizzle a teeny, tiny bit, of EVOO. Season lightly with some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and set aside. When flatbread is ready, remove from oven, immediately drizzle over some of your balsamic reduction, top generously with the arugula, and again finish with a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I like to use a spoon and get fancy, just drizzling like a pro and shit. No rules, just right! Have at it!
- Get ready for flatbread nirvana!!! Slice up in large pieces with a sharp knife, and devour!
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