1 medium-size red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound bakery pizza dough
8 fresh figs, halved
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
Preheat grill to 350˚F to 400˚F (medium-high) heat. Cut onion into ¾ to 1-inch slices. Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Grill onion slices, without grill lid, 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until tender and lightly charred.
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Lightly dust work surface with cornmeal. Stretch dough into a 10- to 12-inch oval on work surface. Place dough, cornmeal side down, on a greased baking sheet; drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub oil into dough. Arrange fig halves and grilled onion over dough, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
Bake at 425˚F on lowest oven rack 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
Spiced Fig Preserves
½ lemon (unpeeled), thickly sliced, seeded
1 ½ pounds fresh ripe figs, halved (about 4 cups)
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 ¼ teaspoons mined peeled fresh ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
Finely chop lemon in processor. Add figs. Using on/off turns, process until figs are coarsely pureed. Transfer mixture to heavy large saucepan. Add sugar, cinnamon stick, minced ginger and cloves. Simmer until mixture thickens to jam consistency and candy thermometer registers 200˚F, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick.
Divide hot preserves among hot clean jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 2 months.
Yield: Makes about 3 ⅓ cups
Orange, Walnut, Gorgonzola and Mixed Greens Salad with Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette
¾ cup walnut halves
10 ounces mixed salad greens with arugula
2 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
4-5 fresh figs, quartered
½ cup sliced red onion
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
⅔ cup orange juice
¼ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Place the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, toss the toasted walnuts, salad greens, oranges, and red onion.
In a large jar with a lid, mix the olive oil, vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and pepper. Seal jar, and shake to mix.
Divide the salad greens mixture into individual servings. To serve, sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese, and drizzle with the dressing mixture.
Fig Fest note: We omitted the gorgonzola when serving the salad at Fig Fest since it was already a topping for the flank steak. Otherwise, it is nice to include in the salad.
Rosemary Flank Steak with Fig Salsa
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1 ¼ pound) flank steak
3 cups chopped fresh figs
1 green onion, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Stir together first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Rub into steak; cover and chill 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Preheat grill to 400˚F to 450˚F (high) heat. Toss together figs, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Grill steak, covered with grill lid, 5 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin strips and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon fig salsa over steak and sprinkle with Gorgonzola.
Yield: Makes 6 servings