Last week I spend in a self-imposed writing retreat. I’ve found that this, if I am at the right stage in my work and feel like it (it can get lonely), gives my productivity a good boost. It works for me; I was able to get on really well with a large chapter of my PhD that I had been struggling with for a while. You might want to give it a try. The old advice of sleep well, exercise and eat well, however boring it may sound, is sound as well. But when you are writing you want to write and you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. Next to the cabin in which I spend my retreat grows a lovely fig tree and against all the odds I still got a handful of ripe figs every day all week. So, what better then to use them for an easy, tasty dinner?
MARCEL’S FIG PIZZA
We’re doing this the easy way, right? So I buy a ready made pizza base/dough. You can buy ones here (Switzerland) which are ca. 30cm diam. (ca. 3-320 g) and you just need to roll them out. The kind of cheese I use depends a bit what happens to be lying about in the fridge. What I think works best is a combination of a milder cheese, such as a vacherin, emmentaler, jongbelegen or mild cheddar, with something with a bit more taste, like an old gruyère, parmesan or something else, as long as it melts well.
You might not get figs anymore this time of year. It works a treat with pears as well!
It is a good snack for 2, perhaps with a small salad. Or it will make one hungry PhD student happy.
- 1 pizza doug
- ca. 4-5 ripe figs or a decent sized pear
- 2 hands full of grated cheese (see above; you can never have enough cheese on anything, can you?)
- a few slices of dry-cured ham (prosciutto di parma, jamon serrano, Schwarzwälder Schinken, something like that)
- some chopped garlic, if you want
- 1 tb olive oil
Now, get cookin’:
- lay/roll out the pizza dough and prepare as described on the packaging
- rub lightly with some oil and sprinkle over some salt if you want
- spread the cheese over the base
- sprinkle with a bit of thyme
- tear up the ham and spread it over the cheese
- cut the figs in quarters – or the pear in thin-ish slices – and place on the pizza
Bake at ca. 240ºc in the bottom half of the oven until the cheese has melted and the base is crisp, probably about 12 min (but you might want to look at the instructions on the dough packaging, though!).
Enjoy, and remember you can’t write on an empty stomach!
P.S. So, what food keeps you writing?