August 13, 2010

Fresh Fig and Duck Sausage Pizza

Fresh Fig and Duck Sausage Pizza

Don't you just love it when you get such an intense idea for a kitchen creation that you can almost taste the flavors coming together? The genesis of this dish began with the huge anticipation of our precious figs ripening and how I might use them. Some of my best food ideas happen in the middle of the night, and I lied in bed through many hours of darkness putting these flavors together. As I mentally tweaked and adjusted and made additions and subtractions to the ingredient list, this I knew for certain: Pinot Noir and duck sausage would be a match made in heaven.
Pinot Noir, Figs and Shallots

I am happy to report that the birds honored the agreement we made over the figs. Last year we were gone from home a few days just as they were ripening, and the birds feasted until there was not one single fig remaining upon our return. This year I completely gave up the bird battle over blueberries, leaving every single berry to the birds in exchange for the figs. And figs came ready as they do... 467 all within a three-day window, and for the most part untouched by the birds, as I had politely asked. Use them. NOW.

Brandborg Vineyard and Winery 2006 Love Puppets Pinot Noir

The wine we chose to highlight this knock-your-socks-off pizza is a fairly knock-your-socks-off Pinot Noir. From Elkton in the Umpqua Valley, Brandborg Vineyard and Winery's 2006 Love Puppets Pinot Noir is lush and spicy, with earthy notes of dried shitake mushroom. Brandborg's dry-farming method creates a very low yield of fruit, giving this wine a lot of nice structure. Its fruit notes are that of deep dark cherry, and we all know how amazing cherry and duck are together. At $30 a bottle I wouldn't serve it with just any old pizza, but with this duck pizza it was an out-of-the-park hit.

The duck sausage came from our friend and terrific cook, Larry, who served it to us first in an wonderful cassoulet. He had extra that he shared with us. Thanks again, Larry!

We used our favorite homemade pizza crust, and used no sauce at all. On top of the pizza dough, I sprinkled about 5 oz. of shredded Panquehue cheese. Panquehue is a semi-soft creamy cow's milk cheese from Chile, and was the perfect light and mild based for the rest of the toppings. The rest of the ingredients were:
  • A couple of shallots sliced about 1/4" thick
  • 5 or 6 fresh figs sliced about 1/4" thick
  • Two well-browned duck sausages, sliced on the bias
475 degrees and twelve minutes later we were in food heaven.

Lesson learned: When I make this pizza again (and soon, I hope) I will double the amount of shallot. It provided another high-end earthy note along with the sausage which connected to the wine so beautifully. And I wouldn't hesitate to lightly dress micro-greens with a few drops of sherry vinegar and good olive oil to pile atop each piece. This idea came as I sank my teeth into the first bite, and , imagine, I just happened to be plum out of micro-greens. Next time I'll plan ahead for that component.

We're moving on to other fig ideas, so stay tuned!

16 comments:

  1. morning from madison! I was out picking weeds in my summery garden and then came in to read your great fig post! How did you get the birds to leave the figs alone? Pizza looks amazing and I think food just means so much more when you know where your food came from. That duck sausage sounds out of this world!

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  2. I wish I could find duck sausage and really nice fresh figs locally. The figs I find at the market are way over-ripe. All I could do is make jam. This is making me sooo hungry. I bet it tasted heavenly.

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  3. This flavor combo sounds awesome! I would have maybe added a little goat cheese to it to make it even more rich!

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  4. Wow, what great flavors! And I love the name of the Pinot..

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  5. Looking forward to more figs . . . future son-in-law is coming and he loves figs!

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  6. yum, Oh to be a guest for this meal - divine

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  7. I have tried smoked duck before. It was really good.

    It's interesting combination fig and duck sausage for pizza

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  8. This looks fab. Do you mind if I stick it on my site with a link back here?

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  9. Delicious! I love the sweet & savory flavors.

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  10. First I have to get it off my chest: I am so jealous of your figs! I have bought a tiny tree two weeks ago, and i don't think it's doing so well. I am still hoping...
    But that pizza sounds so wonderfully different, that our family would love it!
    Thanks for the idea!

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  11. I remember when you shared some photos of these figs on the tree! Great to see the recipe you decided to make with them, superb choice to pair them with duck.. mmmm....!

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  12. Duck sausage with apple jack brandy? How incredibly heavenly! WOW. The pizza looks divine. I love the combination you made.

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  13. Wow! Your late night creation looks unbelievable. I've never heard of Panquehue cheese before--I'll have to keep my eyes open for it.

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  14. I was in Chile last week and enjoyed some Panquehue cheese. They serve it up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great creamy idea as a base for the duck and figs. I still have a package of the duck sausage and will be looking for figs at the market. And what a wonderful reason to open a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir.

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  15. Another amazing fig pizza from Pam! So cool.

    That is a lot of figs, and I can honestly say I have never seen a fresh one before so the pictures were neat for me.

    Jason

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  16. looks incredible! I want to know where I can get my hands on that duck sausage. Looks amazing. I wrote you back on my blog (but am never sure if people are notified when someone comments after them) but yes - Krispin Mayfield is my brother in law. How crazy is that?

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