A couple of days ago we were planning our short stay in Napa Valley. Both Sue and I remembered the food network show which had featured a pizza topped with fresh figs. A simple google search reminded me that it was from a restaurant in St Helena called Tra Vigne. We didn’t actually go to this restaurant on our visit, but we didn’t need to after my first experiment and it wasn’t on their current menu anyway.

My pizza journey has been a long one, spurred on by my two take out pizza loving sons who have for many years proclaimed my pizza as their favorite. But for me it was never going to be good enough until I had the ability to cook a wood fired pizza. Ongoing research revealed a portable pizza oven for over $3000 with $800 for delivery, that was going to be an expensive pizza, tenacious for a cheaper alternative I pressed on until I discovered the kettle pizza. http://www.kettlepizza.com

So for $200 and a 21″ weber I was in the business of wood fired pizzas.


The debut night was when James, Amy and our grandsons were visiting along with Luke and Larissa all ready to test the pizza and wash it down with a good wine. It was a good one, worthy of a debut!! The night was epic and will forever be remembered. There is an indulgence about pizza and good wine and standing around the oven while you eat it. No airs and graces just good simple food. The pizza kettle fires up to 900 degrees fahrenhite from cold in 45 minutes resulting in the ability to cook a perfect thin crust pizza in 3 to 5 minutes.


So back to the fig topped pizza. I nearly always start my pizzas with home made dough. A simple recipe prepared in the bread machine.

1 1/2 cups water

4 Cups flour ( I mix wholemeal (1cup), white bread (1 cup) and the strangely named King Arthur white wholewheat flour (2cups)

1 teaspoon dried yeast

2 tbs olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon of raw sugar


You need the dough to to be as wet as possible without being sticky, so that you can roll it very thin. It will rise once in the bread machine and then you can keep it in the refrigerator overnight in a freezer bag, but make sure to allow time to get it to room temperature before you cook.

I divide that amount into 12 (about 150 calories each, not including the toppings) and it will make 8 -10″ thin pizzas. If you are using a pizza stone in a regular oven you might only divide into 10 as you will probably make thicker pizzas in the lower temperature oven. roll out the pizzas one at a time.

Once rolled out spread a thin layer of (organic tomato sauce (USA ) passata (UK), its really sieved tomatoes) on top of the pizza.

Next I put about 4 quartered fresh figs, some caramelized red onion (fry sliced red onion over a low heat until its starts to caramelize)and about 8 little knobs of goats cheese on to each pizza.

You can put a little mozarella on top if you wish or just cook and then serve with a handfull of arugala (USA) rocket (UK) and drizzle some olive oil over it. I had some really nice lemon infused olive oil ( a gift from my chef daughter in law) which was perfect.

Slice and serve but makes sure the chef gets a slice.