An early birthday celebration for my mom in her hometown of Hartford, Connecticut last week brought us to Bricco restaurant, which my Uncle Jeff described as “the first real restaurant in Hartford.” It’s a lovely Italian joint, classy, but not presumptuous. We started with some antipasti and one of the best pizza topping combos I’ve ever had.
Let me tell you about the glorious Fig Pie. Figs might sound out of place on a pizza crust, but a thin layer of preserves under lots of melty mozzarella tasted better than any tomato sauce I’ve ever had, especially considering it was all topped off with thin, salty slices of prosciutto and fresh, peppery arugula leaves.
This pie dances circles around your everyday slice of pepperoni. Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, offers a recipe for it here that was featured on her Food Network cooking show late last year.
I believe that Fig Pie, or Pizza e Fichi, originated in Rome, where the fruits were once considered sacred. There, it is a seasonal delicacy typically savored on a bare pizza bianca with prosciutto, a simpler version of what we enjoyed that night.
In the year-round foodie world, you can find a lot of other fig pizza combinations. These usually include a soft cheese (like gorgonzola, ricotta, or goat cheese) and toppings like caramelized onions, balsamic glaze, Italian sausage, and pears.
Not too long ago, I was gushing about my basket of fresh figs and wondering what to do with them. While I admit pizza never crossed my mind, I did get the bread and cheese factor going with these Chipotle Fig Quesadillas, which offer a similar blend of cheesy, sweet, soft, and crispy. I think it’s that beautiful blend of textures and flavors that gives fig pizza that standout allure.
Having tasted the winning fig and prosciutto combo, I might go all Latina on the fig pie and give those quesadillas an update by stacking them (more like a round pizza) and throwing in some spiced Mexican chorizo sausage. Add a fresh cilantro garnish, and I think we’ll really be on to something.
And the fig festivities continue.