Grilled Flatbread with Figs, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Arugula
There is a saying, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”
We had plans for this weekend, oh yes. Big ones which involved flying to another city, a nice hotel room and dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant with friends. We’d been planning it for months. Those four days were going to be the only getaway my husband David and I would have together this summer and we were both looking forward to it.
Then fate intervened.
A few weeks ago we noticed that one of our two cats, our boy named Basil, had a problem with his left eye. Over the next few weeks, David took Basil to see three different vets for tests to only figure out what it was not (an infection, a fungus, a virus, cancer spread to other organs). There was no real diagnosis, only that he had a mass growing behind his left eye, but not what caused it. In the meantime, he got sicker and sicker and our departure date grew closer.
It was an emotionally exhausting three weeks and in the end, after many consultations with the veterinary opthamologist, and many anguished “what should we do?” conversations between the two of us and with friends and family, we decided the best course of action was for Basil to have the eye removed. The surgery was scheduled for the day before our trip and we canceled our plans.
I took the vacation days anyway and we hunkered down in the house after bringing Basil home. The first day of my vacation was spent on the couch with Basil in my lap watching TV and sleeping, something I haven’t done for ages; I didn’t realize how exhausted I was too. David took the night shift, spending every night on the couch to make sure Basil didn’t remove the “cone of shame” he had to wear and accidentally scratch out his sutures.
Because we didn’t want to leave the house I also spent a lot of time cooking. We’re lucky to have a neighbor with a prolific fig tree who is willing to share so I’ve been doing some experimenting with the abundance of ripe figs she’s been giving me. This grilled flat bread was born out of a desire to use the figs in a different way (stay tuned for more fig recipes).
The dough is a basic pizza dough, rolled thin and shaped any way you want (yes, you could just as easily call this “grilled pizza” but the toppings suggest calling it something else to me). It’s a fantastic combination of flavors; sweet figs, salty prosciutto, tangy goat cheese and peppery arugula. Add to that the slight char the dough gets from the grill and it’s a winner. David said, “Just when I thought you couldn’t make anything better, you do. I could eat this every day and not get tired of it.”
In the end, we really had no regrets about missing our vacation. Life is all about priorities, right?
We stayed home and took care of our boy, who is already on the mend and has earned two new nicknames, Basil One Eye, the Pirate Cat and Frankenkitty.
We ate very well, and even had friends and family over for dinner. We rested and spent time with the ones we love. What more could I want out of a vacation?
Grilled Flatbread with Figs, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Arugula Recipe
6-7 oz of pizza dough (a ball of dough about the size of an orange)
2 ripe figs, sliced 1/4″ thick, skin on
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 oz prosciutto (2 slices)
1 oz arugula
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil plus more for the grill
The recipe below yields one personal-sized flatbread, perfect for a light meal for one or a nice appetizer for two.
- Prepare the dough. Use your own, buy it, or try my pizza dough recipe.
- When the dough is ready, start the grill and get it very hot. If your grill has a temperature gauge, let it get to about 400 degrees.
- Prep all the toppings and put them on a plate or tray you can take out to the grill. Slice the figs into 1/4 inch thick slices. Crumble the goat cheese. Pull the prosciutto apart into bite sized pieces. Set aside the arugula.
- Spread or roll the dough very thin, but even. Try not to get areas that are too thin because these will form holes and burn easily. If you have a pizza peel, use this to help slide the dough easily onto the grill.
- Spray or brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and place that side down on the grill. Cook until the dough begins to firm up on the bottom and gets a nice brown color. Brush the uncooked side of the dough with olive oil and flip over.
- Add the figs, goat cheese, and prosciutto to the top of the grilled flatbread and shut the lid of the grill for about two minutes so the toppings can get warm and the bottom of the bread can finish cooking.
- When the bottom is well toasted, remove the flatbread to a platter or cutting board and top with the arugula and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Tip: Rub the surface of the grill with a rolled kitchen towel (use an old one you can throw away), lightly dipped in oil (be careful, use tongs to do this). This will help keep the dough from sticking.
Basil is a lucky kitty. I adore figs and your pictures made me hungry!
Thanks Janis, more fig recipes coming soon…
Hugs to Basil to from our guys Marco e Polo (http://web.me.com/mvormvor/Sites.html). Polo was born without an eye and has an ulcer in the other one and he does just fine as am sure Basil will too! How could he not with such great parents~
As always your recipes look delicious and easily adaptable for vegetarians.
Mvor- Your kitties are adorable! Yes, I think Basil will be just fine once he recovers.
Glad that Basil is ok. Tell him that Pirates are in right now. Ahoy, matey. Seriously. Your guy was so much more important than a vacation. Sounds like you used your time off wisely. Hugs to Basil.
Wonderful recipe.. so easy and fresh, and I think I’ll be it on the menu this week. Yum!
Janet- Yes, we were thinking a little eye patch might be needed…. 😉
This looks really lovely and eatable. I LOVE your Basil story and can relate in a huge way. so much so, that I was inspired to write you a PM on facebook. You and your husband are such good parents. They know how lucky they are.
Have you ever tried halved seedless grapes on Q’d pizza? Similar effect as figs, and surprisingly delicious. (good when figs are not in season).
MVOR, your kitties are gorg.
Teresa, no I’ve never thought of putting grapes on a pizza, but I will have to try that!
I can totally relate to how we need to keep our priorities straight. Two years ago, I returned from 3 weeks away on holiday to find a serious medical issue with my cat. Oh, and I returned with a broken foot. A new chapter opened for me. Rosebud (my cat and muse) and I recuperated together and we spent the time preparing the business plan for me to follow my passion as a chocolatiere. She still advices me from time to time on keeping focus on my priorities.
Christine- yes, there’s nothing like an illness (of ourselves or of our pets) to help us reassess our priorities, is there?
Marco e Polo say grazie for the love! September 19 is “Talk Like A Pirate Day” so I’m sure Basil will be quite popular then and expecting special treats.
That looks absolutely amazing. Not just a little amazing… absolutely amazing. 😉
Nick, it really is good. We’ve eaten it twice in the past 4 days and I’m comtemplating a third go-round. 🙂
Kent @ No Vacation Required
First – I think we’ve mention how much we enjoy figs, so this recipe is right in the pocket for us 🙂
Second – Glad to hear basil is on the mend.
Glad to hear Basil is healing nicely. I hate it when one of our cats is sick and they don’t know what’s wrong. But it sounds like it all turned out in the end. Love this gorgeous fig flatbread!
I am SO excited to use figs this season and I bet you can guess what I’ll be doing with them now! So many favorites here.
And you’re so right about priorities. Sometimes (unfortunately) it takes hardship to realize where they should be.
I AM SO OBSESSED with this recipe!!!!!!!!!!
I love everything about it! The presentation is so great too!
We just started following you! Cannot wait for more recipes!!
So glad to hear that Basil is OK! Sounds like you had the vacation you all needed – and the pizza is a perfect consolation prize! 🙂
I definitely would have done the same for my dogs! Basil is such a lucky cat to have such caring parents =)
This flatbread sounds unbelievably delicious too!
I like to wrap arugula in goat cheese and prosciutto. Hmm yummy!
gorgeous!! love this!!!!
Basil is a brave cat.Wish it a speedy recovery.I like to eat figs,but not tasted toast with figs.I think the taste will be good.
Lee aka Kaptainkosh
I love reading your blog. Really great recipes and this flatbread meal looks delicious.
I live in New York City and recently started my own cooking blog called “Cookin’ with the Kaptain” – I’m new to cooking and would love to hear what you think about my blog!
Take a look and let me know what you think.
Thanks – KK
I noticed you haven’t had any recent sodastream syrup recipes. I have tried the ginger ale syrup and really enjoy it although I have added a few tweaks of my own =). If I could put in a request for maybe an old fashion cola recipe that would be awesome!
I’ll say it again. I like Frankenkitty but am still advocating the use of an eyepatch. Aaargh.
It’s fantastic that your neighbors have a fig tree. A co-worker gave me fresh figs from his ranch and they were AWESOME! Well, the drought here in TX killed the remainder so I bought some from the store… it was literally like eating styrofoam. I love all the combinations you come up with.
The Undercover Cook
This recipe looks delightful! Wish my neighbors had a fig tree!
I like this since it is a meal that I won’t feel guilty eating. It looks delicious and healthy. I like it that the ingredient included arugula. I will have a great time eating this together with my fellow health conscious friends.
I like to wrap arugula in goat cheese and prosciutto. Glad to hear Basil is healing nicely. so much so, that I was inspired to write you a PM on facebook. Teresa, no I’ve never thought of putting grapes on a pizza, but I will have to try that!
The presentation is so great too! Hugs to Basil. It’s fantastic that your neighbors have a fig tree. love this!!!!
This dish, weirdly enough, has all of my favourite food things in it – fresh figs, arugula ( we call it rocket) and goats cheese – yum. I admire the heck out of you for what you and your husband did for Basil. I assess people by their care, concern and love of animals. My parents are animal lovers too. I have been though almost a similar situation as you. I have not had a holiday since March 1996 and about three years ago, I planned one, to go interstate for a week and indulge myself. My housemate at the time was going to look after Poppy. Before I was set to go, Poppy got really hurt (vet didn’t know if it was a car, a human or another animal) and so I cancelled my holiday, lost a lot of money that I had paid in deposits and so on, but I didn’t care either – just like you, I spent the time at home with Poppy. We are good people! I’m with you, it’s all about priorities. And, love.
Mary @ Fit and Fed
What a great mom you are to your kitty! I haven’t had very good luck trying to grill pizza, perhaps I should try again using your directions.
Mary @ Fit and Fed
We did try making the grilled flatbread tonight— rather, I made pizza dough, my husband grilled it. It turned out way better than our previous attempts at grilled pizza, much crisper and cooked through. Still had to do it on a pizza stone instead of right on the grill due to using our Big Green Egg without a grill extender. But it worked. The big difference was grilling both sides, then putting on the topping. Previously we’d just tried to do it the same as you would in the oven, putting the toppings on at the beginning and not flipping the bread. Thanks for the instructions!
Awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know.