Harvesting the Last Days of Summer

This has been a beautiful week! For the first time in recent memory, our annual trip to an apple farm was done wearing shorts and t-shirts. And we’re not complaining! We’ll take this summer-like weather as long as we can get it.Β onions

So to keep up the guise of summer, we’ve been enjoying the end of summer’s harvest with our meals. Today’s recipe is reminiscent of our trip to Michigan in August. On the last afternoon of our vacation, we enjoyed a wonderful gourmet pizza at a local winery. We’ve since recreated it at home several times. While the prep time is a little lengthy, Mike and I think this Summer Harvest Pizza is worth the effort. balsamic caramelized onions

We start the meal prep early in the day by making a semolina pizza crust. We use my bread machine to simplify the process. The dough recipe makes enough for three large pizzas. We make one for Mike and I, one for the kids and then ten mini-pizzas for the kids to take in their school lunches. Later in the day, about an hour before dinner, we begin the remainder of the prep, starting with caramelized onions. semolina pizza dough

Next, we prepare the figs. We’ve used several different recipes off the web as guidelines. (Like this one or this one.) After cleaning and slicing the figs, we toss them into an oven-proof dish. We drizzle them with honey, balsamic and a bit of brown sugar. We then bake them for 20 minutes at 400F. oven roasted figs

Next up comes the candied bacon. This was not included on our pizza in Michigan, but after reading it over at Rufus’ blog, we knew it had a place on this dish. The recipe is so simple, we’ve made it several times (dangerously simple). candied bacon

Both the figs and the bacon cook up conveniently while the onions are doing their thing on the stove. Then there’s only one last thing to do before assembly. Slice the heirloom tomatoes. heirloom tomatoes

The onions usually take about 45-60 minutes. Once they are done, we roll out the dough and place it on a pizza tray lined with parchment or foil, and sprinkled with corn meal to prevent the pizza from sticking. Then we brush the pizza crust with olive oil and begin to pile on the ingredients. We like to start with the onions, followed by the tomatoes. harvest pizza

Next we add the figs, a few handfuls of arugula, the candied bacon bits and a sprinkle of goat cheese crumbles. You can also add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice at this point as well. We’ve done both with and without and either way was equally enjoyable. The pizza then bakes for 15-20 minutes at 400F. summer pizza

Once the crust is golden brown and the pizza is nice and hot, we remove it from the oven and sprinkle a bit more fresh arugula over the top. veggie pizza

Then we slice and serve. I like to add a bit of balsamic reduction over the top just prior to serving as well. Adds that extra bit of sweet tang to the dish. Mike and I both thoroughly enjoy this tribute to summer on a pizza. It’s packed with a variety of flavors and textures – a true delight to the taste buds. tomatoes and heirlooms

Mike and I both give it a solid 3 spoons. It’d be tough to get a homemade pizza to rank 4 spoons – we grew up on Chicago-style pizza after all. That said, it’s a good gourmet-style pizza that we’ll surely make again. The kids, however, weren’t into this one at all. Far too many visible vegetables for them. They opted for a more traditional sauce and cheese pizza one night and a pesto pizza another night. That’s fine by us – more slices for us! homemade pizza

I found a good batch of figs at the market recently, so this last time I roasted a triple batch. I’ve frozen them along with some slices of heirloom tomatoes in hopes that they’ll work over the winter. I would love to have this pizza in the middle of January. It may not be summer then, but a good bottle of wine, the fireplace and the taste of summer on a pizza…sounds like a nice winter evening to me.

Print this recipe: Summer Harvest Pizza

fig pizza

Now, I suppose we’ll start moving onto fall…somewhat reluctantly, although I admit I do love fall cuisine. I’m going to have Mr. N pick our next country to cook from this week. So we’ll be back in a week or two with his choice and a dish to go along with it. Have a great week everyone!

40 thoughts on “Harvesting the Last Days of Summer

  1. Chris says:

    Ahh, I know Lk. Michigan when I see it! It is the most beautiful blue color in the world, is it not? I haven’t made the oat crust quiche yet but plan to soon. Do you use it for any other fillings other than the tomatoe, cheese? Good fresh tomatoes are really hard to find right now! 😦
    PS. I’m so envious that you actually live close enough to Cecelia that you can go and visit her and the Farmy…I bet she has the most beautiful kiwi accent ever!

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  2. Three Well Beings says:

    I’m so sorry that I missed this post when originally published! I was actually thinking of you today and wondered “where you’d been” and realize that you were here…I wasn’t! Hmmmm. So about a month ago you were still having summer weather, but I’m sure that isn’t the case this late in October. I am in love with this pizza. I like figs and could eat them every day in some form of another, but I’ve never even thought of adding them to a pizza! I do love the arugala topping and have had that in restaurants, but forget to do that at home. You’ve provided some great inspiration! Hope all continues to go well…school time is so busy!! ox

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  3. Chris says:

    Fall Greetings Kristy…I am a long-time member of the Farmy Fellowship (where I found your blog) and just wanted to say I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they have been wonderful…I’m anxious to try the oat crust quiche. πŸ™‚ Also just wondering what town that beautiful farmhouse is in that you rent each summer…I am a native Michigander! πŸ™‚ That looks like either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron but I’m guessing Lake Michigan as there are alot of peach orchards up there! Yum, my favorite summer fruit!!

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    • Kristy says:

      Hi Chris,
      Thank you so much for your kind note. I’m so glad you’ve liked some of our recipes. Celi taught me how to make the oat crust. I just love it! I’m sure you will too. The farmhouse is in Baroda, Michigan near Lake Michigan. It’s not too far from us, but far enough to feel like we’re out of the city! πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      Absolutely – The recipe is from “The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook” by Beth Hensperger.
      Place the wet ingredients in the bread machine first, followed by dry and then set your bread machine to the dough setting.
      1 1/2 cups water
      3 tablespoons olive oil
      3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
      2/3 cup semolina pasta flour
      1 tablespoon sugar
      2 teaspoons salt
      2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons breach machine yeast
      When the dough setting is complete, remove the dough, separate it into desired number of services. I divide it into thirds and it makes three 12″ pizzas. Once divided, knead the dough for a few minutes and shape it into balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes. Once risen, you can place in the bags in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for up to three months. Or shape them immediately and top with ingredients. If you store them in the fridge/freezer, let them rest at room temperature before use. Hope you enjoy it. The dough recipe is great for all pizzas. The kids really like it for traditional pizza and pesto pizza.

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  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    We’ve been having ridiculous hot weather for October so this recipe fits perfectly! I love making homemade pizza and I should try your recipe next time. Figs and caramelized onions… yum!! I like the mini pizza idea for school lunch. I’m going to do the same using with your pizza dough. πŸ™‚

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  5. Marie says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve never thought of trying figs on a pizza – but in this recipe, it seems like it just fits. I may have to give this one a try! πŸ™‚

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  6. Eva Taylor says:

    We adore homemade pizza and this one sounds like a real winner. We usually bake the crust one side first then flip, dress and bake again. I’m a wee bit surprised that you added sugar to the figs, I would have thought they’d be sweet enough after you baked them. Summer pizza in the middle of winter sounds awesome, I’m doing the same thing for sure.

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  7. Norma Chang says:

    Looking forward to learning how you liked the frozen roasted figs and tomatoes. Did you oven roast your heirloom tomatoes before freezing? I was thinking: Why not freeze some caramelized onion also?
    Saving your recipe for next year when I have figs and heirloom tomatoes.

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  8. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m glad you’re having a slow start to Fall weather – I think you deserve a long summer after that extremely long winter. I love the look of your pizza and caramelised onions on pizza with figs is one of my favourite combinations xx

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  9. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Beautiful photo sequence Kristy. Anything with fresh fig and caramelized onion is worth the effort in my view and I agree, I would enjoy this pizza any time of year! So happy you are being treated to an extra long summer… by all accounts, late September has been gorgeous. Just in time for a very special birthday β™‘.

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  10. Jodi says:

    This sounds SOOOO amazing! I so want to try. Question – do you bake it with the arugala? It doesn’t look “cooked” in the photos, and I have never cooked with it before, so was wondering. Love the peppery taste though! Thanks for sharing!

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