It was an El Nino year my first and last years of college. I have memories of wading through the dining commons to get my lunch, watching my fellow students row a boat down our street, and playing mud football on the res hall lawn. On a campus where the only way to get around was to either walk or bike, you had little choice on rainy days but to get soaked on the way to class. These days, students wear rain boots and carry umbrellas, but in the mid-nineties, you'd rather have your Mom walking you to class than sport an umbrella. So as you might imagine, on rainy days the campus was filled with lots of students getting very wet. One rainy day I decided to wear flip flops. I got lots of comments and even an offer from my boss to loan me a pair of warmer shoes. But, wouldn't you know it, after about ten minutes inside, I was the only one with warm dry feet. Ever since then, when I get a slightly unusual idea in my head, I stop and think, ya' know, this might just be like wearing flip flops in the rain!
It's an interesting concept...salad on a pizza crust. I pondered this one for awhile, not sure if I'd like it. But we had fresh ripe home grown figs to eat, and it occurred to me that this might be the key ingredient to give this a shot. The verdict: delicious! The pizza crust with the sweetness of the figs, salty blue cheese and tangy vinegar, yum! Sound odd? Not convinced? Hmm, maybe you should try some flip flops next time it rains...
1 package ready made pizza dough (I used the whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's)
12 ripe figs, quartered
2-3 handfuls of arugula
1/2 Cup crumbled or diced good quality blue cheese
a little bit of very thinly sliced red onion
a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare pizza dough as directed on the package. Brush with a little olive oil before baking. Bake as directed, removing from the oven once crispy and lightly browned. While dough is cooking, cut up figs, arugula, blue cheese, and red onion. As soon as pizza crust is done, transfer onto plate and top with arugula, figs, blue cheese, and red onion. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and top off with a light dusting of freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.