Caramelized Fig Pizza

Whenever I see the word “caramelized” on a menu, that is the dish I have to order, no matter what it is. Fortunately, it is usually some delicious item incorporating caramelized onions. This is my favorite pizza creation to make when it’s fig season, pairing a sweet caramelized fig spread with pungent Gorgonzola and freshly shaved Parmesan. Yumm, best pizza ever! Okay, okay. I hear you saying “gross” but trust me, the flavors meld together into the most delicious pizza you will ever experience. I promise. And if you don’t feel like making pizza, the toppings are also delicious on a toasted bagel or tortilla under the broiler. Enjoy!

Caramelized Fig and Onion Spread

8 fresh figs, stemmed and halved
1 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the broiler. Gently clean the figs with a damp paper towel. (Don’t wash figs under running water, as they will soak up too much additional liquid and become mushy.) Remove the stems and slice the figs in half, lengthwise. Arrange the figs, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the cut sides. Place the baking sheet in the oven about 6” away from the broiler element and broil the figs for about 4 minutes or until the sugar is caramelized and the figs are softened. Remove the figs from the broiler and let cool. (I usually make plenty of caramelized figs and freeze some for other uses.)

Place the sliced onions on a second foil-lined baking sheet and place under the broiler about 6” away from the broiler element and broil for about 4 minutes or until onions are soft and lightly browned. Watch them carefully as they might burn easily. Remove from the broiler and let cool.

Place the figs and onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until slightly smooth but still a bit chunky. This fig spread can be used immediately or can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week. Note: Caramelized fig spread is also pretty tasty smoothed over a slice of pumpernickel topped with a piece of softened brie and melted under the broiler for about 1 minute.

Yeast-less Pizza Crust

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb granulated sugar
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
2/3 cup buttermilk

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; make well in center. Add buttermilk to well; stir just to combine. Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead about one minute. Form dough into a ball. Flatten dough slightly, and then roll out with rolling pin to 12 inch circle and place on circular pizza pan or stone to bake pizza. Note: If you don’t feel like making pizza dough, you can substitute with Naan, bagels, tortillas, flatbread or whatever suits your palette.

Assemble the Pizza

Spread a layer of the caramelized fig spread over the pizza crust. Sprinkle with crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. Top with fresh shaved Parmesan. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.


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