Can we all agree that the Harry Potter series is about the best thing since sliced bread (and while we’re at it, that sliced bread isn’t all that amazing)? The plot was fantastic, surreal, colorful, and riveting. The characters were fantastic. The series inspired this parody of “Fly Like a G6.” All in all, Harry Potter is superb.

For awhile, though (like for a decade, if I’m being honest), I wasn’t interested.

When the first few books came out and people at school loved them, I was skeptical. I thought, “You guys also freak out about, like, the Backstreet Boys, so I’ll be okay without your little trends, thanks.” (Sorry BSB fans — maybe it’ll make it better if I reveal that I secretly like this song).

Then people I respected started wearing round glasses and striped scarves to midnight premieres. That gave me pause, but I’d already made this proclamation about how I was way too savvy for silly fads, so I continued to snark and scoff. Harry Potter was probably lame! They were all just a little more impressionable than I’d given them credit for!

Eventually I realized something, though. If everyone insists the sky is blue and you’re the only one looking up and seeing hot pink, you might be wrong. Not always, mind you (there was that whole Twilight thing, and yes, I actually read the books before deciding they were awful this time), but usually. So I decided to flippin’ read Harry Potter already. But I didn’t get to it . . . and didn’t get to it . . .

Finally, the seventh book came out and all Harry-Potter-heck broke loose. Forget midnight premieres; people were dressed like Harry Potter at the midnight book release. When’s the last time people have lined up at midnight at a book store? Clearly, the awesomeness could not wait any longer. I borrowed all the books from my little brother and devoured them in no time flat.

And felt really dumb. Sorry, Harry Potter fanatics, that I ever doubted you.

I’ve gone through a similar transition with homemade pizza. I never considered it a fad, per se, and I knew it was probably good — but I just didn’t get to it. Okay, everyone was raving about their favorite toppings and how easy it was to slap a crust together and all that, but I just didn’t get to it. And okay, then everyone was grilling pizza and making dessert pizza and that sounded cool, but I just didn’t get to it.

And then one day I decided to throw my elementary school throwback picnic with a menu of updated childhood favorites, and I knew the time had come. And now I feel really dumb.

‘CAUSE HOMEMADE PIZZA IS AWESOME! This one, especially. I love Pioneer Woman’s crust dough, because you literally mix it up, throw it in the fridge, and forget about it for 3 or 4 days until you pull it out, stick some toppings on it, and bake. Speaking of toppings, these were the best of the best — a sweet fig jam, melty mozzarella, salty prosciutto, and a bunch of fresh, crisp, arugula piled right on top. It’s the Nimbus 2000 of pizza, y’all. Get to it!

P.S. I think I’d get sorted into Ravenclaw. How about you?

P.S. 2 – Starting Monday, I have a surprise for you! A week full of goodies. Just wait and see!

Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Pizza

Recipe by: adapted from Pioneer Woman
Yield: about 8 2-slice servings

Crust Ingredients:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil

cornmeal for sprinkling

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons of fig jam (I just sort of eyeballed this)
kosher salt to taste
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
6 ounced prosciutto, sliced thin
a bunch of arugula
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan

*NOTE: this crust recipe makes 3 times the dough needed for this pizza — you can use it for other pizza recipes or just triple the toppings.

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water. While the yeast foams for a few minutes, combine flour and salt in a mixer. Drizzle in olive oil with the mixer on low speed, until ingredients are combined. Pour in yeast mixture and mix until combined. Coat a medium mixing bowl with olive oil and plop the dough out into it. Cover this and put it in a draft-free area (like your closed oven) to rise for about an hour. Then scoop it out onto plastic wrap, wrap it up, and stick it in a ziplock bag (don’t skip this, because it will burst it’s plastic wrap). Throw it in the fridge (okay, or gently set it) for at least 24 hours, or (better yet) 3 or 4 days.

When you’re ready for pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees (with a pizza stone in it, if you have one. I don’t, so I preheated mine with a pizza pan inside). On a sheet of parchment sprinkled with cornmeal, pat the dough out as thin as possible (using greased fingers). Drizzle the crust lightly with olive oil. Spread a thin (but not too thin) layer of fig jam all over the surface and sprinkle with kosher salt. Lay sliced mozzarella all over the pizza and sprinkle these slices lightly with kosher salt. Grind pepper over the pizza. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling and gooey and oh dear.

Remove the pizza from the oven and lay the prosciutto all over it while it’s still hot. Right before you’re going to serve it, pile on cold arugula and sliced Parmesan. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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36 Comments on Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Pizza

  1. Maris (In Good Taste)
    July 31, 2011 at 6:04 am (13 years ago)

    I have never seen or read Harry Potter! Am I the only one? Really fabulous pizza here!

    • Lauren at Keep It Sweet
      July 31, 2011 at 6:54 am (13 years ago)

      Maris- I tried watching the first HP years ago and fell asleep, never read or saw any more than that!

      • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
        July 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm (13 years ago)

        I love the books so much more than the movies! And I think the first movie might’ve been my least fave. Hope you’ll give it another try! But also, different strokes 😉

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm (13 years ago)

      You’re not the only one! But I hope you’ll give the books a try. I liked the movies, but they’re nothing compared to the books in my opinion!

  2. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    July 31, 2011 at 6:54 am (13 years ago)

    Can’t wait to see what you have for us this week! This pizza looks delicious.

  3. Vanessa
    July 31, 2011 at 9:19 am (13 years ago)

    Yum, homemade pizza is so good. Love the classic combination that you did here! As for Harry Potterr, I read one book. I was the same way with kind of looking down on the Harry Potter bandwagon. I’m still not a huge fan, but I don’t mind the movies now. It is a cool story..

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm (13 years ago)

      The movies are done really well (better than The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe remake, which totally disappointed me). I love the books more, though, because of all the fun details! I don’t dress up or anything, but I did enjoy every second 🙂 Thanks, Vanessa!

  4. Dalila G.
    July 31, 2011 at 12:18 pm (13 years ago)

    I’m going to have to try this pizza dough recipe. I’m always on the look-out for new pizza dough recipes, love to sample!
    One’s taste buds must be kept happy!
    The pictures of your pizza look awesome, you’re making me hungry for pizza right now. 🙂
    I have seen some of thr POTTER movirs, I find them pretty good.
    Never read any of the books though.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm (13 years ago)

      I love the books so much, Dalila! Hope you get a chance to peek at them soon. And to eat some pizza! Thanks! 🙂

  5. Amanda
    July 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm (13 years ago)

    It took me a while to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon as well, but I too fell in love with it all. I just saw the final movie last night – so sad that it’s over!
    PS. This pizza looks delectable!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm (13 years ago)

      Thanks, Amanda! I’m holding out on seeing the last two movies until I can reread the series. Prolonging it just a bit longer… 🙂

  6. Joanne
    July 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm (13 years ago)

    I adore the HP books but can’t get down with the movies…possibly because there’s such a cult following surrounding them. It makes no sense, I know.

    HOmemade pizza, though…especially with figs on top = love.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:39 pm (13 years ago)

      It makes perfect sense to me, Joanne 😉 I love them both, but I get where you’re coming from. The books are definitely my fave 🙂


  7. Jules
    July 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm (13 years ago)

    LOL! I love this post!

    I have to confess: I never read Lord of the Rings until I saw Fellowship. Then I bought the entire trilogy and read the whole thing cover-to-cover in a week (I had some exams, I think–otherwise it would have taken me about two days). My sister is still trying to convince me that Harry Potter is awesome, but, well…let’s just say that we agree to disagree 🙂 Homemade pizza, OTOH…I don’t think anybody can refuse that…

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm (13 years ago)

      HA to each his or her own! I read The Hobbit and decided the LTR triology would probably bore me to death, but I know people who think it’s the best thing ever written. Different strokes! 🙂

      Thanks, Jules!

  8. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen
    July 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm (13 years ago)

    This pizza looks fantastic! I was the same way about Harry Potter until back around November. I’ve been working my way through the books much more slowly though – I’m only on book 4. I really want to see the last movie while it’s still in theaters though, so I need to get moving! I refuse to watch the final movie and spoil the series!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      July 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm (13 years ago)

      I know what you mean! I won’t watch the last one until I’ve reread them, because I’ve JUST about forgotten some of the gritty details. Ha!

      Thanks, Maggie! Glad you’re enjoying the series 🙂

  9. Leslie
    July 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm (13 years ago)

    From your writing, I’d have placed you in Hufflepuff because you are always so sunny!

    That sounds awesome. I’ve had figs on pizza, and homemade pizza, but never homemade fig pizza. I think I’ll have to try it next time we bbq.

  10. dragoon811
    July 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm (13 years ago)

    I’m a Slytherin; this pizza looks tasty while not being my thing, so it MUST be delicious!!!

  11. karen d
    August 1, 2011 at 11:23 am (13 years ago)

    Julie, your pizza looks and sounds delicious. I think I have found the perfect thing to drizzle on top. Over the weekend I found a shop in Hickory called THE CRUSHED OLIVE and they have the most amazing olive oils and balsamic vinegars and best of all they let you taste any or all of them. I bought a raspberry balsamic (which we ate on fruit salad) and…wait for the angels to sing…an espresso balsamic! I can’t wait to try it on vanilla ice cream or maybe in a bbq sauce. But back to your wonderful pizza, they have fig balsamic which I think would be a perfect complement. You really should try this store, I think you would love it!!!

  12. Ava
    August 1, 2011 at 11:26 am (13 years ago)

    I love HP!! I still have to watch the last two movies. Soo excited! The pizzas look delish!

  13. Fervent Foodie
    August 1, 2011 at 11:31 am (13 years ago)

    This looks delish! And I’m a huge Harry Potter fan who has yet to see the new movie 🙁 Hopefully this weekend or next though!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      August 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm (13 years ago)

      Thanks, Mary! I haven’t seen it either, but I’ve had a couple of chances — I’m waiting until I reread the series. I’ll probably miss it on the big screen, but that’s okay.

  14. Scott Hepburn
    August 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm (13 years ago)

    I love this recipe! I love the Pioneer Woman, too — did you go to her book signing at Joseph Beth last year? I swear, I must have been the only man there.

    M5 (back when they were around) had a Prosciutto and Fig recipe that was to die for! I love the idea of making one on the grill. Now, all I need is a grill…

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      August 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm (13 years ago)

      I did! I loved meeting her. Is M5 gone now? Drat! I only got to go there once!

      BTW, my mom bought my a cast iron grill pan from Williams-Sonoma — can’t wait to try grilling pizza!

  15. a snowsprite
    August 10, 2011 at 12:18 am (13 years ago)

    Wow, I guess I never really thought of using anything in place of tomato sauce on pizza, except maybe bbq sauce. Uummm, What is arugula exactly?

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      August 10, 2011 at 12:25 am (13 years ago)

      Lots of great sauce choices for pizza! White sauce is delish too, or a pesto. I LOVE this fig jam with salty prosciutto though — yum! Arugula is a peppery-tasting salad green.

  16. Maranda
    August 16, 2011 at 11:34 am (13 years ago)

    I felt the exact same way about Harry Potter!! I worked at Barnes & Noble when the 4th book came out and I refused to read it. I finally was worn down because I needed to see what all the fuss was about and I’ve never turned back!! I was lucky enough to work at a few of the Midnight Magic Parties (the midnight book release parties) and they were fantastic!! Planning the decorations, games and fun for the events was one of the highlights of my time working for B&N. I’m so glad you finally gave them a chance (I also agree with you about Twilight).

    And I feel like you and I are twins with this post. I keep meaning to get to the whole homemade pizza thing. I am jonesing to make grilled pizza. But I just never seem to get to it. I guess I need to huh??

    Thanks for sharing love!!

  17. SA
    August 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm (13 years ago)

    I tried this and my dough didn’t rise at all, though it did make bubbles in the warm water. I notice there’s no sugar in the recipe to feed the yeast. Anyone else have this problem?

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm (13 years ago)

      I would say maybe the yeast was bad, but if it foamed, it should’ve worked! Mine definitely rose (I used this exact recipe, no sugar per PW’s original) — and it continued to rise in the fridge, actually. So sorry it didn’t work out for you! Wonder if it could have something to do with humidity or something?


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