Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Flat Bread with Balsamic Reduction

by Lori on October 10, 2011

I started this post a while back with every intention of providing you with a super easy recipe for Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and fig flat bread with balsamic reduction – something I’ve been enjoying for the past few weeks – but I kept getting stuck.  The words weren’t coming as I would have liked and I found myself deleting everything over and over again. I think this is the third or forth rewrite.

In one of the previous versions, I waxed poetic about my fig tree and all of the luscious fruit it has supplied me with this season, which has been wonderful by the way.  The post was filled with all sorts of emotion hiding in the metaphors; a way of writing that I love and leaves me feeling creatively fulfilled.   But I was writing from a place of irritation and frustration.  It wouldn’t have made much sense to anyone else but me.  So when I sat down to finish this post, I was in no mood for fluff.  I needed to get down to the nitty-gritty about some things that have been clogging up my head and my productivity.  I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time writing or doing anything productive when I have unresolved matters weighing on my mind.  And I have a few of them at the moment.

So here’s the deal.

You know that high road we’re all supposed to take when life’s circumstances force us to find our higher moral ground?  Well, I’m kind of sick and tired of being on that high road.  I need a new direction, a new road to travel.  Maybe it’s more of a slippery slope; I’ll have to get back to you on that one.  But in the meantime, it pretty much comes down to this: I’m going to continue trying to be the most honest, fair and tolerant person I can be, but I can’t be selfless to the extent I have been thus far.  I no longer want to forsake my own personal boundaries just to make someone else feel better about theirs.

As a willing listener and confidante many times over, I am content with the benevolent commitment that comes with relationships between friends and family members.   The choice to “be there” or lend a hand to those who need it is part of the spirit of friendship that I don’t take lightly.  But when I try to help anyone in my inner circle remove the monkey from their back only to find that monkey is also on mine, it becomes a strain that I can’t bear for very long.  Believe me.  I’ve tried.  I’ve listened, I’ve observed and I’ve spoken.  Many times.  And when the words flowed from my mouth to ears that seemingly didn’t want to hear them, I became labeled as judgmental, a perfectionist, a poor listener.  Or I was ignored.

We all need to be accountable for our actions, right?  So, I’m accounting for mine.  Right here. Right now.

I’m pulling over on the high road, taking a detour if you will, and creating a little emotional distance for myself.  I’m not leaving the high road entirely; I still have to learn to handle some of the twists and turns in the road just like everyone else.  But I need to avoid the hills that continue to leave me depleted to the extent that I cannot enjoy the inevitable ride down the other side.  It means I need to follow the detour signs toward the path that provides me with a more acceptable route with a better view.  It means the drama stays in the court of those who created it so they can truly feel the weight of their own monkey.  It means it’s time for me to step back when I’m   unable to squeeze out one more ounce of compassion for those who choose to live out a Montel moment.

Depending on which way you look at it, life can be as a series of setbacks or opportunities to dig deep and find your own inner strength.   It works both ways no matter which side you’re on.

And as I envision the ride along the high road – the windows rolled down, the wind in my hair and the view in the rear view mirror getting smaller and smaller – the anticipation is very much a part of the joy.

* * * * *

Five years ago, I planted a small fig tree in my back yard.  Evey year it grew and produced more fruit than the year before.  But there came a point when I felt the tree wasn’t really living up to its potential.  Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the deliciously-sweet fruits filled with those unmistakable tiny seeds, I felt the tree should have been producing more than a handful or two of figs each season.  The tree, while productive to a certain extent, was struggling under multiple factors.  So I uprooted the still relatively-small tree, moved it to a very large pot where I hoped it would have a better chance to thrive.  I removed the supports that had been holding the tree up for the past few years; it was time for the tree to develop its own strength, establish new roots and develop a stronger foundation.  I knew it would take a period of time for the tree to adapt.  Or it would never be the same again.

This season I harvested the greatest number of figs so far.  I didn’t count, but there had to be more than 50 of them.  And each one – with their purplish-black skins – was gloriously warmed by the sun.

They were the proof that the anticipation was very much a part of the joy.

 

Prosciutto, Gorgonzola and Fig Flat Bread with Balsamic Reduction

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 flat breads

Serving Size: it varies

I created this flat bread when I was pressed for time and used Trader Joe's refrigerated pizza dough, but you could make your own if you have a personal favorite. Prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese and figs are a match made in heaven and the balsamic really pulls the flavors together to make a fabulous appetizer or light meal, if paired with a salad. Substituting fresh pears for the figs would be wonderful, too.

Ingredients

  • Pizza dough
  • 4 slices Prosciutto, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 large fresh figs, quartered and then sliced into fourths
  • fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and set oven rack on lowest level.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, quarter the dough. Keep one quarter on the board and place the remaining dough back into the refrigerator.
  3. Allow pizza dough to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling.
  4. Cut the dough in half, setting one piece aside.
  5. Roll the dough into a thin, narrow rectangle, approximately 4-inches x 12 inches and 1/4-inch in thickness.
  6. Place dough on baking sheet, lightly brush with olive oil and liberally prick it with a fork.
  7. Place in the oven for about 4-5 minutes. Remove.
  8. Scatter Prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese and figs over partially cooked flat bread.
  9. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the flat bread begins to brown along the edges.
  10. Meanwhile, place balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan set over medium high heat until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes but watch it - saucepan size matters here.
  11. When flat bread is done, remove from sheet pan and place on serving board or platter, scatter fresh arugula over the top, drizzle with balsamic reduction, slice and serve.
  12. Repeat process with the remaining dough.
http://www.lemonsandlavender.com/2011/10/prosciutto-gorgonzola-and-fig-flat-bread-with-balsamic-reduction/

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

yummy supper October 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

Hey Lori,
I keep thinking that as a kid not one tells you about the emotional weight of being an adult. Sometimes it is so hard to take the highroad or to hold the weight. Taking a break is good. Maybe pulling over to the side of the road and eating some delicious fig flatbread;)
-E
yummy supper recently posted..TEA + COOKIESMy Profile

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Lori October 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Hi E,
Thanks! I’ve found contentment in knowing that I can make this choice. Sometimes you just have to pull over and let the traffic go by. Having a little snack while you’re there helps too.

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Pure2raw twins October 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

this sounds wonderful! love balsamic mixed with figs

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Lori October 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Thank you! And as I get ready to pick the last 2 figs from my tree, I know that pears will fill in very nicely for the figs.

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chris @nestlefoodie October 10, 2011 at 1:57 pm

This is my kind of recipe, Lori! Just lovely! Can’t wait to see you this weekend…maybe we can take a few detours together. :)

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Lori October 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thanks Chris! SO excited for Saturday, and of course I can’t wait to chat it up with you. Check your FB messages later. I’ll get back to you about the driving plans.

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Nancy@acommunaltable October 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Hi Lori!!

First off, so excited to see you this weekend!!!! Your words really resonated with me… sometimes you just have to let people walk on their own for a while… and that is OK!! That lesson took me the longest time to learn … it sounds like you are doing better with it than I did!!

The tart is gorgeous and just the kind of thing I love – lucky you for having a fig tree!!

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Lori October 11, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Nancy! I’m still pinching myself about this weekend. I can’t wait! Thanks for the post feedback – glad to know I’m not alone! And I just picked the last two figs from my tree yesterday. I hate it when that happens!

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Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} October 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

Such a beautiful post. I think everyone needs a time out once in awhile and it’s nice to be reminded that it’s okay to do so.
The flatbread looks phenomenal!
Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} recently posted..Silent Sunday: FreshMy Profile

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Lori October 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Thanks Krista on both counts!

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kellypea October 14, 2011 at 7:17 am

Well I come from the school of hard knocks, so outside of an occasional asking if I might help, quite a bit of listening, then, heaven forbid, offer suggestions (that ultimately are tossed back in my face via a conversation with a third person who was also “leaned on,” my attitude is just suck it up. Like your fig tree. It works. Some people just like to wallow in their daily dramas and like you mentioned, want to take everyone else with them. Just say no. It works :). Gorgeous flat bread there. Makes me almost, sort of, kind of think about figs differently. I’m still working on that.
kellypea recently posted..Five Onion ConfitMy Profile

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Lori October 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Kelly, I convinced a friend to give the figs another chance with this flat bread, and she’s welcomed them back into her good graces. Success! But I wouldn’t hesitate to make this with any of the delicious pears that are coming into season now. Slices or chunks, they would be a perfect stand-in. And thanks for the advice; it really is the best way.

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Barb Bamber October 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

Lori, this was a big “aha” moment for me a few years ago. I discovered that I was actually enabling a friend when I kept trying to listen and help… I gently let her go, told her that we had grown and gone different paths and that was the end. I’m glad I did that. It was one of the most difficult things to say to someone..
On a happy note… beautiful photos on your blog!!! Love your figs!!! Now I’m hungry and shall go eat something:)
Barb Bamber recently posted..Sesame Garlic Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Sweet Coconut RiceMy Profile

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Lori October 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thank you Barb! You are absolutely right: continually listening and trying to help enables some to avoid addressing their own issues themselves. They don’t need to, because they have you to do it for them. Recognizing that was a huge eye-opener for me. There’s so much more clarity from this perspective now.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Lori your recipes and photos just make me want to get in the kitchen and get to work. Scrumptious!! :)
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga recently posted..Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

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Lori November 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

Editor B, thank you for the feedback. I’m glad you liked it. It’s definitely one of my favorite food combinations.

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Colby December 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm

<3 it!!! One of my favorite things in life is figs; roast them, saute them, cover them in chocolate!

My favorite pizza joint in town (that JUST closed down) made a pizza with white sauce, white cheese, apples, pecans, pecan butter, roasted figs, and basil. Weird, but sooo delicious!

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Lori December 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Colby,
I wait all year for that brief moment in August when figs are available. While it’s really hard to keep from eating them right off the tree, it’s recipes like this one that make a little self control worthwhile! I think it’s time for you to recreate that pizza you describe; it sounds wonderful.

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jessie deans January 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

I happened upon your blog yesterday…………I’ve died and gone to heaven I swear! Your recipes pretty much all speak to me and your photography….no words

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