Fig, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Flatbread

Fig, Mozzarella and Pesto Flatbread

Fig, Mozzarella and Pesto Flatbread

The other things that caught my eye during my shopping trip at Trader Joe’s, were some beautiful basil plants. I’ve been meaning to make fresh pesto for quite sometime now, but basil can be quite expensive at the store and it doesn’t always look very happy. Well, I assume I wouldn’t be happy either if my leaves would be stuffed in a tight plastic pack and sold for an outrageous price! 😦 I let the plant be happy for a few days and then I picked some its bigger leaves and turned it into a pesto, by hand, but totally worth the effort. I wanted to use it for a sandwich with some fresh mozzarella and figs, but I didn’t like the bread I had at home so it ended up into a small flatbread in the end, which was for the best since fresh baked dough beats any few days old store bought sliced bread 😉

Ingredients (makes 1 small flatbread and leftover pesto):

  • pesto: 1 garlic clove, salt, 1 1/2 basil leaves, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/2 cup parmesan romano cheese blend, 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
  • ~1/3 dough from here
  • 3 Tb pesto
  • 4 small mozzarella balls, sliced
  • 2 figs, sliced

I made the pesto by hand, but you can use a food processor to save time and effort. Make the pesto, by first smashing the garlic with some salt in a mortar.

pesto: smashed garlic

pesto: smashed garlic

Grind the basil leaves into a paste.

pesto: basil leaves

pesto: basil leaves

Add the pine nuts and grind them as well. You can also use walnuts if you cannot find pine nuts or they’re too expensive.

pesto: pine nuts

pesto: pine nuts

Add the cheese. I used a parmesan and romano cheese blend, but just parmesan should work as well.

pesto: cheese

pesto: cheese

Finish up by adding the olive oil and incorporating it slowly into the pesto.



Taste and adjust salt or cheese if you would like. If you’re not going to use it immediately, cover it right on the surface with plastic wrap making sure you minimize the air bubbles to prevent oxidation.

For the flatbread: preheat oven to 450F. Knead and roll dough on a floured surface. Bake until cooked through (7-10min). Remove from oven. Spread basil pesto on top. Cover with mozzarella and fig slices.

Fig, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Flatbread - before

Fig, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Flatbread – before


Return to oven and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese is melting and the figs are softened. Remove from the oven, let cool a little bit and enjoy!

Fig, Mozzarella and Basil Pesto Flatbread - after

Fig, Mozzarella and Basil Pesto Flatbread – after

You can make the flatbread as large as you want it and in whatever shape you want. I wanted mine to look a little like an open face sandwich and to fit on my Swedish fish flatter…I know, gotta have my priorities in order 😉

This turned out very yummy. The fresh made pesto was worth all the effort, and then some. If you’re still not convinced, you can read about Stefan’s taste test of man vs machine made pesto here.

The creaminess of the mozzarella went great with the saltiness of the pesto (from the parmesan) and the sweetness of the figs. These sweet and salty combinations are really growing on me!

This concludes the fig recipes…at least for this week 🙂 Hope you’re all getting a chance to enjoy some fresh figs this season!

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8 Responses to Fig, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Flatbread

  1. billpeeler says:

    So many wonderful flavors coming together in this! Also – your homemade pesto looks awesome —

  2. Yum, definitely making my own pesto soon. I let some basil leaves die a few weeks ago, as they didn’t go with any of the food I had, but now I know this is pretty easy to make and I can keep it for later 😀

  3. So pretty! Ok I always make pesto in my food processor, I had no idea one could achieve that texture with a mortar and pestle! I am learning to use my mortar for more things (Som Tam green papaya salad, recently) and to use it properly, you have definitely inspired me! I love pesto and I LOVE TJ’s big basil plants for such a good price. I can enjoy fresh basil all summer without the “hassle” of growing my own — I just buy a new pot every couple weeks!

    • I think it takes more work with the mortar and pestle, but I was intrigued by some bloggers who prefer it to the processor. The basil at my previous grocery store was definitely overpriced ($1.99 for 1 branch!!!) so I was happy to find these big plants that seem to last for a while if you keep watering them. Plus the plant keeps the leaves much fresher than the fridge 😉

  4. Pingback: Three Cheese Pizza with Pesto and Goat Cheese | the windy kitchen

  5. Pingback: Burrata, Tomatoes and Basil Pesto Pizza | the windy kitchen

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