POSTED ON July 26, 2015 | IN Food, Wine Information | BY Joe Becerra

This is fig season so why not try making a perfect fig pizza in your oven or on the BBQ grill. I got this recipe for fig pizza thanks to Chef Matt Paille, who created this pizza during his stint at the Manzinata Restaurant in Healdsburg. It really is a fabulous and delicious pizza even though I am still trying to perfect the exact taste of that pizza I had in September of 2009 at the restaurant. Chef Matt sent me the recipe but unfortunately it did not include his recipe for the pistachio pesto that is the base of this pizza. Maybe some of you out there can suggest your favorite recipe for pistachio pesto. I did a search on the Web and found several recipes for the pesto, and from them I concocted my own version included below.

oat cheese and pistachio pesto.

Fig Pizza with goat cheese and pistachio pesto. Wow!

This time of year we spend as much time outdoors as we can and that means lots of time on the grill, including barbequing pizzas. This is how to manage a pizza on the grill. Form your pizza dough on a pizza peel and make sure it will slide off the peel onto the grill. Hold it at a 20-degree angle and slide it off by shaking the peel gently. I cook the dough for two minutes at medium heat. At one minute I use a spatula and turn the dough a half turn so it doesn’t get burned grill marks. After two minutes take the dough out and turn it over on the pizza peel. To this cooked side add your toppings. Return to the grill and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, turning the pizza on the grill a quarter to a half turn with the spatula each minute.

For the fig pizza: Spread the pistachio pesto over the dough and add a layer of prosciutto. Add a layer of fresh sliced figs and some goat cheese. When you take the pizza out of the grill, drizzle olive oil over the pizza and add some salt if you like.

For the pesto:

  • one garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachio (plain-not roasted or salted)
  • 2 cups Fresh basil leaves – lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

First put the peeled garlic clove in the food processor and chop. Add Basil, pistachio, cheese and process.  While processor is running add olive oil to a spreadable consistency.

I like to make my own dough from scratch. The best dough recipe in my opinion is from Chef Joanne Weir. I cut the dough ball in half and make two 9-inch pizzas from the one ball of dough. As far the wine pairing goes, my preference is for one of those big Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel wines.

For wine pairing I like a red wine with some acidity. I think that cuts goat cheese a bit.  A Tempranillo from the Rioja, a Syrah from Santa Barbara, or perhaps a Merlot. For a white wine, a Viognier feels about right.