Cheesy Fig And Arugula Pizza Recipe

Everyone is happy when pizza night rolls around, especially when it involves exciting gourmet toppings. Food Republic recipe developer Julie Kinnaird brings us this cheesy fig and arugula pizza that sets itself apart from the rest. Kinnaird shares, "I have always had a fondness for white pizza, and the combination of the creamy ricotta with the fresh, peppery arugula and sweet ripe figs is divine." 

Pepperoni and cheese might be familiar favorites, but Kinnaird's version sure takes it up a notch. Not to mention, she provides readers with the steps to make a high-quality dough. "This recipe has an authentic Italian pizza crust that I learned and developed while working as a pastry chef in a Florentine restaurant," she comments. That's more than you can say for your supermarket's frozen pizza selection! Plus, you can make an extra batch of dough so your next pizza night is that much simpler.

Gather the ingredients for this cheesy fig and arugula pizza

For the pizza dough recipe, you'll need warm water, granulated sugar, and active dry yeast. Kinnaird recommends water at a temperature of around 110 F. You'll also want to grab some all-purpose flour, fine semolina flour, salt, olive oil, and room-temperature water. "Semolina is made from hard durum wheat, which is typically used for dried pasta," our recipe developer explains. "Semolina is hearty and won't absorb water as quickly as all-purpose flour. This gives a less sticky dough," she adds, noting that it makes it simpler to remove from the baking sheet and "is also key for a nice crispy crust and golden color!" 

To top the pizza, you'll need more olive oil. Also pick up a large shallot (then peel and thinly slice it), shredded mozzarella, whole milk ricotta, and grated parmesan. Next, you'll need fresh black figs. If you can't get ahold of any, Kinnaird say that "reconstituting dried figs is a great alternative," and adds, "Depending on how dry the figs are, soaking them even for just a few minutes in hot water will restore pliability and make them easy to slice." 

If you want to elevate your pizza even further, Kinnaird says, "Tossing dried figs with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar will also tenderize them a bit, keep them from drying out in the oven, and add a complementary flavor." Finally, top off the pizza with fresh arugula leaves.

Combine the dough ingredients

Add the warm water and sugar to a small bowl and mix them together. Carefully stir in the yeast and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes or until it becomes foamy. (If it doesn't start to foam, your yeast might be dead!)

Add the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and mix until the contents are well combined. Pour in the yeast mixture and the olive oil and keep processing until the mixture is uniform. Finally, pour in the room-temperature water while the machine is still running until the dough comes together.

Kinnaird explains, "Using a 2:1 combination of all-purpose and semolina flours gives this dough just the right balance for a crisp yet light crust. Using too much semolina would make the dough dense, and a fine grind is necessary so that the flour is not too gritty." If you're all about planning ahead, she suggests doubling the dough and freezing half of it. "Just let the dough thaw overnight under refrigeration and then bring it to room temperature before rolling it out," Kinnaird advises.

Knead the dough and let it rise

Once the dough has formed into a mass, sprinkle some flour over a clean work surface and place the dough on top. Knead it until the texture is smooth, adding a small amount of flour as needed to prevent it from becoming too sticky. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, then transfer it to a large bowl coated in oil. Cover the surface with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rise somewhere warm until it is about double the volume. Kinnaird notes it should take around an hour, but this will depend on the ambient temperature.

Sauté the shallots

In the meantime, prep your toppings. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss in the thinly sliced shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn a nice golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on the shallots so they don't burn, then transfer them to a plate.

Next, preheat the oven to 500 F and place a pizza stone on the rack to heat for at least 30 minutes; this is the key to a crispy crust. "If a pizza stone is not available, preheating a baking sheet will do the trick," Kinnaird notes. "Place a large baking sheet in the oven about 15 minutes before baking and then dust the sheet with a little semolina to prevent sticking."

Shape the pizza dough and add toppings

Once the dough reaches an adequate size, punch it down in the bowl and transfer it to a floured surface. Divide it into 2 equal pieces and shape them both into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll them into 12-inch circles. Or, if you're feeling more hands-on, Kinnaird says you can use your fists to stretch it out, but warns that you may be likelier to puncture the dough this way.

Brush the first pizza dough with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella evenly over the top. Add half of the cooked shallots, dollop ½ cup of ricotta on top in tablespoon-sized drops, and finish it off with ¼ cup of Parmesan. Carefully sprinkle a little bit of semolina flour on the hot pizza stone so the dough doesn't stick, then place it on top using a peel. 

Bake, add the remaining toppings, and serve

Bake the pizza for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven. Scatter about half of the figs over the top, then bake the pizza for another 3 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove it from the pizza stone using the peel, top it with 1 cup of arugula, and finish it off with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to dress the greens.

Repeat the pizza assembly process for the second piece of dough, then slice the finished one into 8 pieces and serve it hot while the other cooks. This delicious pizza has fruit, vegetables, dairy, and starch, so we'd consider it a pretty solid one-dish meal!

Cheesy Fig And Arugula Pizza Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
Enjoying the elevated toppings of fresh figs and arugula on your homemade pizza dough is a worthy treat for your efforts.
Prep Time
Cook Time
12-inch pizzas
cheesy fig arugula pizza slices
Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • ¼ cup warm water (at 110 F)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour, plus more for dusting the pizza stone
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup + 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup room-temperature water
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup (about 6 large) fresh black figs, quartered
  • 2 cups arugula
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the warm water and sugar. Gently mix in the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Place both the flours and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and ¼ cup olive oil and process until mixed.
  4. With the machine still running, gradually pour in the room-temperature water until a dough forms.
  5. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface.
  6. Knead until smooth, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from being sticky, and form it into a smooth ball.
  7. Oil a large bowl and add the dough, then cover the surface with plastic or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 1 hour).
  8. While the dough rises, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  9. Preheat the oven to 500 F for at least 30 minutes with the pizza stone on a rack.
  10. Punch down the dough and transfer it to a floured surface. Divide it into 2 pieces and shape each into a smooth ball.
  11. Use a rolling pin to roll one ball into a 12-inch circle. Alternatively, use fists to stretch the dough thin, taking care not to puncture it.
  12. Brush the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle on 1 cup mozzarella and half of the shallots in an even layer. Top with ½ cup ricotta in tablespoon-sized drops, then finish with ¼ cup parmesan.
  13. Sprinkle a little semolina flour on the hot pizza stone to prevent sticking. Transfer the pizza to the stone using a peel and bake for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove the pizza from the oven and top with ½ cup fig pieces. Return the pizza to the oven for 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove using the peel.
  15. Top the pizza with 1 cup arugula and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top.
  16. Repeat the process with the remaining pizza dough and toppings. Cut the pizzas into 8 pieces each and serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 2,249
Total Fat 130.5 g
Saturated Fat 40.6 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 174.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 194.6 g
Dietary Fiber 11.6 g
Total Sugars 18.3 g
Sodium 1,978.2 mg
Protein 74.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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