Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rosemary Flatbread with Dried Figs, Carmelized Onions, and Blue Cheese

Last weekend Jason was whisked away to Las Vegas with our friend Scott for some sort of man-weekend that, from what I heard when they got back, involved getting vertigo at the Hoover Dam and eating lots of candy. There was some other stuff too, like eating good food, gambling, and seeing the sites, but I prefer to dwell on the fun details.

I had been looking forward to my weekend home alone, but couldn’t quite decide what to do. Should I eat ice cream out of the container while watching chick flicks? How about an at home manicure and pedicure while sipping champagne and eating cheese I don’t have to share? Or maybe I could go for really long hikes and then lounge poolside?

Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful weekend?

Well, here’s what I really did. I cleaned. I mean, I cleaned. Things were scrubbed with old toothbrushes. Furniture that hasn’t been moved in three years was shoved aside and carpet that no one ever sees was vacuumed thoroughly.

Why? Got me. It’s what I do.

But then, I sat down with an old issue of Cooking Light and started browsing and immediately earmarked about ten recipes that looked amazing. I was downright excited about some of them. This one especially. So, on a Saturday afternoon, I set out in search of needed ingredients.

I was a little irked with myself, too, because I had been at Trader Joe’s just the day before to pick up a few essentials and as I was breezing through the produce section, I saw a few containers of fresh organic figs. I stopped the cart and went so far as to pick up a container, turn it around and give it a good look. And then I put it back down. I have no idea why.

So, on this Saturday afternoon of my weekend home alone, I find myself in my car going to three stores in search of fresh figs (to be fair, I didn’t expect to find them at the first store I went to). I found none, so I ended up at Trader Joe’s, again, this time to buy a bag of dried figs, because there we no more fresh!

The original recipe calls for the extra step of oven-drying fresh figs, which is a little time consuming, but not at all impossible. Ending up with a bag of dried figs worked out nicely, though, allowing me to skip that step and arrive faster to the best part: eating the warm, crispy rosemary-scented flatbread topped with sweet figs, meaty walnuts, carmelized onions, and tangy cheese.

You must make this, and you needn’t wait until you’re home alone with a bucket of old toothbrushes and layers and layers of dust to clean. I imagine this being the centerpiece of a nice backyard get-together with good friends and an even better bottle of wine.

Rosemary Flatbread with Dried Figs, Carmelized Onion, and Blue Cheese
From Cooking Light

I seriously love this rosemary flatbread, and envision it becoming a nice go-to rustic pizza dough. Also, for those of you who are interested, at the bottom I've included the directions for oven-drying fresh figs. 

2-3/4 cups bread flour, divided
1 package dry yeast (about 2-1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F), divided
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 to 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used the same amount of dried rosemary)
1-1/2 tsp salt, divided
Cooking spray
2-1/4 cups vertically sliced red onion 
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
10 oven-dried figs, halved
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

1) Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1/2 cup flour and yeast in a large bowl , stirring with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup warm water; let stand 30 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, remaining 1/2 cup water, 1 tbsp oil, rosemary, and 1-1/4 tsp salt; stir until soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes), and add enough of remaining flour, 1 tbsp at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

**Note: I used Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast, which does not need to be proofed in warm water first. Therefore, I combined all of the dough ingredients mentioned in the above paragraph together at once, stirred until a soft dough formed, then kneaded on a lightly floured surface.

2) Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat all around. Cover and let rise in a warm place, 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

3) While dough rises, heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cook 15 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1/4 tsp of salt, orange rind, and pepper. Cool mixture slightly.

4) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

5) Punch dough down; form into a ball. Place dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; let rest 5 minutes. Shape dough into a 14 x 12-inch rectangle (about 1/4-inch thick). Arrange onion mixture, walnuts, and dried figs evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle with cheese, gently pressing toppings into dough.

6) Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes or until flatbread is golden brown and cheese melts.

Oven-Dried Figs

These are much softer and moister than store-bought dried figs. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

10 medium light-skinned fresh figs, halved (such as Kadota, Adriatic, or Panachee); about 1 pound
Cooking spray

1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2) Arrange figs in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 250 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until almost dry but still soft.


  1. Totally sounds like me when I'm home alone, which is not very often. I think of all the fun and relaxing things I could do and end up cleaning (which I happen to love doing) and cooking--makes me feel more productive I guess. This looks absolutely delish!

  2. Tasted really good, but worth cooking just so your home will smell intoxicating!!!

  3. this looks beautiful! NEVER put down fresh figs, they are here and gone in an instant. Costco has them, but they are not nearly as good as the ones at trader joes. Keep your eye out, they will be back... hopefully

  4. Yes, I really have no idea what I was thinking when I didn't buy those figs. I saw them again the other day at another store and bought them on the spot :-)

  5. I'm not normally a fan of figs and definitely not a fan of onions...but this dish was delicious. I can't explain the magic that is Lisas Cocina, but I like it.