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Easy fig ‘pizza’ is fun food on the Fourth

Recipe: Fig, feta and prosciutto pita pizza can be grilled or baked

Pizza with cheese and figs
Here's the pizza, hot off the grill. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Figs need summer heat to ripen. When that summer heat comes in May or June (as it did this year), local figs are ready to pick in early July instead of August.

Right now, Mission figs are turning deep, rich purple. They’re at their peak of flavor when they come off the tree with barely a touch.

So, instead of waiting until Labor Day, we can enjoy ripe figs on the Fourth of July.

This easy recipe makes the most of ripe figs, combining other Mediterranean ingredients – pita bread, olive oil, prosciutto and feta – into fun food for the Fourth or anytime this summer.

Too hot to turn on the oven? This pita pizza works great on the grill, too. And the recipe can be easily multiplied to serve as many people as needed, either as an appetizer or main course – as long as you have enough figs!

Ingredients
Simple ingredients for a delicious summer pizza.

Fig, feta and prosciutto pita pizza Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1 pita bread

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 ripe figs, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick

1 tablespoon chopped scallion

2 tablespoons prosciutto, chopped

2 tablespoons feta cheese

Instructions:

Preheat grill or oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly brush one side of pita bread with olive oil. Assemble ingredients, placing (in order) fig slices, chopped onion, chopped prosciutto and feta cheese on top, evenly distributed over the pita bread.

Place pita pizza directly on rack of grill or oven. Grill or bake until feta is soft and prosciutto is heated through, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Note: To avoid over-cooking bottom of pita bread, grill over indirect heat.

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RECIPE

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.

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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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