I’ve been writing this blog now for close to a year (okay, nine months) and in some ways, I am still getting used to the whole process. At first, I was extremely shy about putting myself out there on my blog, and telling people about Lady Gouda (especially people I knew) was a bit terrifying. I was also worried that in the end, I wouldn’t actually keep up with posting. I shied away from meeting other bloggers, conscious of the fact that they had been doing it longer, had tons more readers, and seemed to be able to post amazing items several times a week.
Things began to change, however, once I started working with Maggie of Eat Boutique fame. Maggie has been a blogger for years, and boasts a strong readership, an active and fascinating blog, and has a great network of fellow blogging friends. Maggie was the first food blogger that I had the opportunity to meet a few months back, and she immediately put me at ease. This past weekend, Maggie reached out to many bloggers around the region and opened up her beautiful home (and amazing backyard) for a big ‘ole potluck party.
So what do you bring to a food bloggers’ potluck? After some thought, I knew I had to look to my secret weapon- fig and prosciutto flatbread. How have I not blogged about this yet? It is a major crowd pleaser and seems to work year-round. It is relatively simple to make and it transports easily. You can eat it hot or cold. It tastes good with beer, wine, or even bubbly. It is probably the perfect appetizer to offer up while entertaining.
The recipe comes from a local Todd English restaurant, Figs. The instigator behind me figuring out the recipe was my dear cousin Laura, who is equally obsessed with the restaurant and this flatbread. The provider of the recipe was Food and Wine magazine (thank you, thank you, thank you!). I have adapted it a bit to my tastes (or, you know, mistakes), where in some places I have doubled a few things to bump of the flavor even more (more garlic, more rosemary).
The result is a mouth-watering combination of sweet fig jam, salty prosciutto, slightly funky and creamy Gorgonzola, all together on a crispy crust. This one is a winner and I was proud to serve it at the bloggers’ potluck at Maggie’s house over the weekend. While I was only able to stick around for a bit, I had a great time meeting new people and sampling their food. One of the standouts was another prosciutto related appetizer made by Abby from 5thjoy. She wrapped local nectarines and pears with prosciutto, and tucked in a bit of basil and rosemary into each sweet and savory bite. She said there was also a bit of cheese involved in the pear versions. Oh yum. Wish I could have tried more of the other dishes before I had to scamper off! At least I was there to witness the "sabering" of champagne bottles, led by Dale Cruse. Maggie and I were skeptics, but sure enough, you CAN whack the top of a champagne bottle off with a butcher's knife.
Maggie- please hold another potluck soon- you know, when you’re back from Nashville, Paris, Provence…. right.
Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread
adapted from Todd English's recipe from Figs Restaurant, published in Food &Wine Magazine
Two 12-ounce balls of pizza dough, at room temperature
Cornmeal (a few pinches should do)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup fig jam
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
3 ounces sliced prosciutto (about 10 slices)
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
Place a pizza stone in the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°. Allow at least 45 minutes for the pizza stone to heat thoroughly.
Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the pizza dough as thin as you can get it- it will be about 13 inches round. Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal and slide the dough onto it. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the garlic and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and spread around evenly with your fingers. Dollop 1/4 cup of the fig jam in the middle, gently spreading it around with the back of a large spoon. Try to leave a 1-inch border of dough all around. Scatter half of the cheese across the dough and then lay the ripped up prosciutto pieces across the dough.Slide the flatbread onto the stone and bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and golden. Transfer the flatbread to a cutting board and garnish with half of the sliced scallions. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing into small, appetizer-size pieces. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make the second flatbread.