Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fig, Fontina, and Pecan Flatbread for 50

Happy Birthday, Jeanne! That's right friends, the sweet and sassy, Texas-dwelling blogger behind Inside NanaBread's Head is turning 50 today. 

In honor of this exciting day, my theme-loving friends and I (see Cocktail Week, Crepe Week, Beer Week, etc.) are hosting a surprise (virtual) birthday party for Jeanne. Today we're sharing all sorts of great recipes fit for a fun, fabulous party.  

While I haven't known Jeanne long, I feel like I know her so much better after combing through her blog in preparation for today's recipe. I was looking for an affinity toward a certain ingredient or dish from Jeanne's posts. A sign! Something! And there they were. . . pecans.  With pecans as an inspiration and endless possibilities, I figured I could do no wrong. This sweet and savory combination comes from my cheese mongering days where I learned fig + cheese = happiness.  I hope you'll agree, Jeanne! Happy Birthday!

Fig, Fontina and Pecan Flatbread
1 lb. prepared pizza dough, or use your favorite recipe
cornmeal for baking pan or pizza stone
1 red onion, thinly sliced and caramelized
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of fig jam
1/2 cup of raw pecans, halves and pieces
2 cups of shredded fontina cheese
arugula, optional

  1. Prepare your pizza dough, rolling it out to make one large flatbread or several (4) small flatbreads. Move pizza dough to a cornmeal dusted, preheated baking sheet or pizza stone. I opted to use Smitten Kitchen's gussied-up pizza dough and roll out four small flatbreads. Pro-tip: Do NOT substitute grits for cornmeal. Bad bad idea. 
  2. Heat butter in a skillet on medium high heat to caramelize the red onion. Once the butter is warmed through and fully melted, add the sliced onion, stirring to coat the onions. Turn the heat down somewhere between low to medium heat and let the onions caramelize slowly. I added a little bit of balsamic jam here, I highly recommend it if you can get your paws on some. 
  3. Once the onions are done, begin dressing your unbaked flatbread(s). I layered the onions first, then small half-teaspoon dollops of fig jam, followed by pecans and fontina.  Make sure the pecans are tucked well underneath the cheese, otherwise they'll burn. Alternately, skip the pecans in your assembly and top hot-out-of-the-oven flatbreads with toasted pecans.
  4. Bake your flatbread(s) at your ovens highest heat or per dough instructions. 
  5. Top your flatbread(s) with bright, crisp spinach or arugula and enjoy. I did!

Great news! The party doesn't stop here. See who else is celebrating Jeanne's 50th today. . .


  1. Wow..what a fabulous combination of flavors! I love figs and these just like what I wish I were having for lunch today! Bookmarking this page since despite our fun party...I won't get to taste these today. What a great recipe to celebrate Jeanne! : )

  2. Oooooooh, you sneaky devil! You said there was a good reason, and that's it! Cheese plus figs DO equal happiness; why can't all math be this awesome?

  3. What a fantastic lunch! I adore figs with cheese, and any excuse to turn what is essentially a pizza into a salad. Yum!

  4. You nailed it, Madeline! Pecans & cheese & bread are three of my greatest food obsessions. Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday surprise. I'm still trying to read through all the posts and wrap my head around all of this. There's just SO MUCH LOVE! Hugs to you and a big thank you for making this such a special day. -jeanne

    1. It was my pleasure, Jeanne! I hope you had a great day! XOXO

  5. Really this looks and sounds delicious. What a great combo... can I confess something? I've never had figs. We don't have them up here in the tundra.

    1. I rarely see fresh figs here, but you should try dried figs (you can reconstitute them in all sorts of liquids too) or fig jam (so good!).

      If you can't procure some, I'll send some! :)

  6. Sister-friend! As you know I have a yen for actioning fig based pizzas with one of my girlfriends - this could be a really nice way to change it up, especially since the next time we are gathering is next Friday and she does not do the meat on Fridays for lent!

    I love it sick.

  7. We are so excited to see that you will be donating your post on April 8th to spread awareness about hunger. Wondering what you will write about? How about food drives for the 21st century...efficient, green, productive and fun! Everything is ONLINE now! See how this blogger,, invited her readers to join her in helping 10,000 hungry children in New York City with the click of a mouse!