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This post was sponsored in part by Valley Fig Growers as part of the #FeedUsFigs campaign. As always, all opinions are mine alone.
I have NEVER been a fig girl. There. I said it. Growing up, I remember visiting my older relatives’ homes and being offered those cookie fig bars. Ick! I’m cringing just thinking about them. Whenever I HEARD the word fig, I would immediately turn my nose up.
Well. While I was in culinary school, I found out that many of the foods I hated growing up, just weren’t prepared as they should have been. One day after class, I visited a small restaurant that served Italian and French cuisine. There was a guy there who worked the salad and pizza station, and it was right out on the floor with the guests so you could see him cook. He made everything from scratch, even the breads and pizza dough..and he was so fine y’all!
I ate there at least once a week so I could watch him cook. Sometimes he would send out special dishes to my table that he wanted me to try. One day he sent a Fig and Prosciutto Pizza with goat cheese to my table…and I have been delivered from the bondage of fig cookies ever since. It was MAGNIFICENT!
I really couldn’t believe figs could taste so good. The sweetness of the fig, with the salty prosciutto was such a great combination. When I received these assorted California fig spreads by Orchard Choice, I actually was excited because they reminded me of that delicious pizza. They have many more flavors, like Orange, Organic Mission, and Port Wine that would be amazing on a cheese plate. I definitely will be adding them to my impromptu entertaining pantry basket. I had the Fig Orange spread on toast with eggs and it was delicious!
My favorite though, is the Balsamic Pepper. The balsamic flavor give the fig a perfect balance so it isn’t too sweet. When I tasted it, I knew right off that I wanted to make a pizza. I decided to return the favor and make my version of that famous fig pizza for that fine, pizza chef. Yes, I married him! I couldn’t let skills like that get away. 😉 You can make mini calzones, or one big one and just cut it in slices. Either will do the trick.
Turkey Sausage & Spinach Calzones with Balsamic Pepper Spread
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 Onion, diced
1lb. Turkey Italian Sausage (casings removed)
3c. Fresh Spinach
2 Fresh Pizza Dough Balls
1 jar Orchard Choice Balsamic Pepper California Fig Spread
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 small ball, Fresh Mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 tbs. Fresh Basil, chiffonade (thinly sliced)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425. In a saucepan, in a tablespoon of olive oil, cook garlic and onions until soft and translucent. Add sausage to pan and brown. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up large clumps so it will for nicely in calzone. Once browned, add spinach gently and stir in. Remove from heat.
Roll out each dough ball on a floured surface. Using a spoon, spread Balsamic Pepper fig spread as you would pizza sauce. Leave a little room around the edges for folding. Top each piece of dough with the turkey spinach mixture, then with tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Fold dough over to make a crescent shape, and tightly crimp the edges with your fingers to seal closed. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes (minis) 20 minutes (large calzone) until dough is cooked through and golden brown.
Visit www.valleyfig.com for more information on these delicious spreads and to find a retailer near you!
Get Figgy with It,