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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread


Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009 where this recipe is being featured!


While I love to make my own pizza or flatbread dough from scratch, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my hands all messy with dough. I cheat a lot and buy packaged flatbreads from the supermarket and throw them on the grill or under the broiler for a quick pizza. One of my favorite fall recipes is Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbreads, briefly grilled on our barbeque grill.

The creamy gorgonzola with specks of blue-black cheese melts, the warmed slices of Granny Smith Apples and wedges of juicy figs cradle the shaved slices of Parmegiano-Reggiano. But we’re not done with it yet, sweet, sensual honey drapes each slice, some oozing over the edge, onto your fingers.

If you’re interested in food photography…I’m showing you photos before I used Photoshop, so that you can see before and after. I shoot in RAW with my Canon 40D and I used the 60mm macro lens to get nice, sharp closeups. I generally use Photoshop to sharpen, lighten the photo and increase the saturation just a bit to make the colors and detail really pop. I know many of you don’t have Photoshop (it’s expensive) but you can do the same in Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 ($99); and even in Flickr they have free online tools to help you lighten and increase saturation of your photos. I know Adobe has a free online editing tool…but can’t find it at the moment…if you find, will you please let me know?

I always try to fiddle with the photo and camera settings to take the perfect shot, which minimizes my use of software to touch up. But sometimes, the lighting is not just right or my white balance is a bit off and I’ll need to adjust. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, every single professional photographer does some sort of touch up, and it’s generally sharpening and color correction.

Here’s my before and after:


I’d love to show you what I do in Photoshop (it does make a big difference in the picture, but since so few of you have this software, I’ll have wait until I buy a copy of Photoshop Elements so that the tutorial is more relevant to more people.

In the meantime, here’s my step-by-step slideshow of how I got to my money-shot!

Oh yes, please enjoy the recipe for Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread


Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmegiano-Reggiano), shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.

Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.

If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.

Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.


Free Artisan Steak Tasting Package!

Free Artisan Steak Tasting Package!

Please don’t forget to enter in the free drawing for Artisan Steak Tasting Package!! If you haven’t read it, this is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done – tasted 6 different steaks from small ranchers and included tasting notes, breed, diet, region etc. The tasting kit includes 4 different artisan steaks so you can do your own tasting.

56 Responses to “Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread”

  1. sb — 10/29/08 @ 3:01 pm

    I just found your site – just wanted to say that I just love how your foods are presented and your photos are amazing.

  2. RecipeGirl — 10/29/08 @ 3:29 pm

    Mmmmmmmmm… serious drool. For a moment, I thought you might be a Daring Baker (we had Pizza Crust challenge this month). Love the money shot. I’m going to get myself deluxe photoshop one of these days!

  3. Chocolate Shavings — 10/29/08 @ 4:15 pm

    Indeed – that picture is worth gold!

  4. Denise — 10/29/08 @ 4:18 pm

    Looks like a great appetizer for the holidays – yum! Just have to say, love your recipes, pics and the tidbits you give us of your brother ;o Now HE is some serious drool! hee-hee-hee :)

  5. diana — 10/29/08 @ 5:00 pm

    Would love to make this, but I live in Kansas & I don’t think anyone in the state has ever seen a fresh fig. Could canned be substituted? Probably not. Any other ideas for the fruit that I could use?

  6. Vanille — 10/29/08 @ 5:03 pm

    I simply love this combination ! So tasty…

  7. katie — 10/29/08 @ 5:06 pm

    I am learning how to use photoshop to fix my current horrible lighting, walking a fine line between cartoonish fixes and acceptable tough-ups. That looks delicious!

  8. JEP — 10/29/08 @ 5:09 pm

    Heaven on a plate :) What brand name flatbreads do you recommend?

  9. Terry B — 10/29/08 @ 5:56 pm

    Beautiful as always, Jaden. And the mix of flavors sounds wonderful. I think I might be tempted to substitute pear for the apple, just because apples are such an assertive texture.

  10. Lars — 10/29/08 @ 6:23 pm

    Amazing photos, and if they didnt make me drool, the description does.

    Gorgonzola, apple, figs and honey, what a great (and classic) combination.

  11. Piegirl — 10/29/08 @ 7:37 pm

    Sexy, slurrrrpy, yummy pictures!

  12. Ooh, ooh, ooh. . .that’s all I can say right now. These are ooh, ooh, ooh!

  13. courtney — 10/29/08 @ 8:16 pm

    Very nice!

  14. Leah — 10/29/08 @ 8:29 pm

    I have to say thank you. I have for years loved fried rice and made marginal sad fried rice at home. I just adapted your shrimp fried rice to a mushroom, zucchini and green onion fried rice and it was delicious! What a wonderful gift your mother gave you with those cooking lessons. I know this isn’t a reference to your current post, but I had to write it was so good.

  15. Patsyk — 10/29/08 @ 8:37 pm

    The moment I saw the “money shot”, I started thinking I need to make this recipe or at least something similar to it. I love that you shared your photo tips, since I hope to improve my photography! Thanks!!!!!

  16. Hélène — 10/29/08 @ 8:52 pm

    I love how you explained all the steps & how you did it. I don’t own a copy of Photoshop yet. Someday. You could make money with this shot. I love it.

  17. Kalyn — 10/29/08 @ 9:09 pm

    Very nice shot!

  18. YummyGirl — 10/29/08 @ 9:12 pm

    That is gorgeous! My husband loves to use figs in recipes, they are very under-rated. Did you make your flatbread or is there on that I can buy? I make a gourmet barbecue chicken with red onions and cilantro (and cheese!) pizza using a ready-made crust or Pillsbury dough baked before-hand. You have to use Montebello Kitchens Virginia Barbecue Sauce (sweetened with apple butter!)to get the best tasting pizza – a little sweet, a little spice.(www.montebellokitchens.com) I like your flatbread because it is very rustic looking and that adds a lot to the presentation and experience.

  19. Perfect post for a day on which the Daring Bakers are posting pizzas! Gorgonzola and fig is such a classic combination. And yes, your money shot is right on the money!

  20. cindy — 10/30/08 @ 12:37 am

    i LOVE figs (i have a whole cookbook that is just figs) and gorgonzola is one of my favorite cheeses. i know this will be terrific!

  21. MySimpleFood — 10/30/08 @ 12:47 am

    Wow! I love the step by step photo instructions. Trying to learn to get good shots. But I am still using a digital camera….so still a little behind but one day…one day…I will get there with a SLR camera, hopefully.

  22. joey — 10/30/08 @ 1:48 am

    Thanks for all the photography tips…mostly I never know what I am doing so they really really help! I would certainly use Photoshop to help adjust some details in my pics (like lighting and white balance as you’ve mentioned), but I don’t know how to use it! I know, in this day and age…brother…

    Anyways, this pizza looks and sounds awesome! I would love it I just know because I love all the elements…just wish I could get fresh figs here!

  23. Myron Tay — 10/30/08 @ 5:03 am

    With food that looks this good the photography can never go wrong. :)

  24. ChefRunner — 10/30/08 @ 7:36 am

    Diane from Texas: You could probably make a close approximation with dried figs. I use them in a lot of stuff with cheese and honey.

  25. ttfn300 — 10/30/08 @ 10:09 am

    that sounds SOOOOOOO good :)

  26. Lynn — 10/30/08 @ 10:23 am

    Beautiful shot! I love the step by step tutorial, too.

  27. That looks fantastic and so do your photos (ps – I’d be interested in the Photoshop tutorial since that’s the software I have). just my vote. :)

  28. Emily — 10/30/08 @ 11:06 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! I might have to try this on a chilly fall night.

  29. cakebrain — 10/30/08 @ 2:57 pm

    Wow! that’s a great action shot of the honey dripping! I know first-hand how difficult it is to shoot with one hand and hold a dripping spoon in the other! it takes some pretty good hand-eye coordination! I wish I had the time to learn Photoshop. I have the program but I’m too lazy to make use of it. Instead, I use the free Picasa Web Albums program which is super-easy to use and does a lot of things automatically if you just click the right stuff!

  30. Dana — 10/30/08 @ 3:56 pm

    This is SO my kind of recipe. YUM.

  31. mycookinghut — 10/30/08 @ 6:08 pm

    Very nice and sharp shot! Looks so delicious.

  32. Rosa — 10/30/08 @ 6:57 pm

    What a gorgeous recipe! That flatbread looks ever so tempting and delicious! Yummy! Nice shots too…



  33. Giff — 10/30/08 @ 9:38 pm

    great photo Jaden. I imagine that was a pain holding the camera and the honey spoon and keeping things in focus as you dribbled/clicked!

  34. Asianmommy — 10/31/08 @ 12:02 am

    Beautiful shot–I love the honey action!

  35. Toni — 10/31/08 @ 2:06 am

    Oh, drooooool…….And then drool some more. This is to die for, and I love the photo. And I have Photoshop CS2. But I don’t have a third hand. ;-)

  36. sue bette — 10/31/08 @ 6:48 am

    The honey spoon shot is top-notch and the recipe looks amazing! Thanks for sharing your photo techniques!

  37. Jescel — 10/31/08 @ 11:00 am

    man… this is porn on a plate…so sinful! :o)

  38. Tea — 10/31/08 @ 1:30 pm

    Gorgeous shot! (can I hire you to do my blog photos?:-)

  39. Rasa Malaysia — 11/1/08 @ 1:14 am

    This camera is a keeper. I need to get one, well, after I get a new laptop (still searching for that perfect one!)

  40. I tried pouring a sauce over something while taking the picture, once. The tripod got off-balance and while trying to catch it i splattered myself with chocolate sauce… a ladle-full of chocolate sauce! Never again Jaden… NEVER!!!

  41. Zenchef — 11/1/08 @ 10:47 pm

    Oooppss!.. What is Pedro doing here??

    hehehehe.. Sowwwwyy! :-)

  42. Lynette {Radio} — 11/2/08 @ 10:36 am

    I think I’m going to faint. Those are some of my favorite foods EVAH and now you’ve put them together in a sexy combo. As soon as I can get my hands on some fresh figs, I’m making this!

  43. Candice — 11/3/08 @ 9:54 am

    OMG! I made this last night on plain naan since we had no dough, and it is AMAZING.

  44. You NEVER cease to amaze me – gorgeous. I can actually taste the fig and honey just by looking at the photo.

  45. The Flirty Girl — 11/9/08 @ 3:25 pm

    Oh Drool! I’m going up to San Francisco next week and fully intend to go pick up some cave aged Marisa cheese to try this with.

    BTW I passed along an Uber Blogger Award to you today in my blog. Just wanted to share your great recipes with my readers :D

  46. iron stef — 11/10/08 @ 11:47 pm

    Wowsers. That looks amazing. I. Speechless …

  47. Carolyn Jung — 11/11/08 @ 1:14 am

    There are few marriages as perfect as roasted figs, honey, and salty, creamy cheese. Thanks for the photo tips, as always. I’m actually going to take a Photoshop class soon. I’ll be happy if my photos end up looking even half as lovely as yours. ;)

  48. taste memory girl — 11/16/08 @ 9:09 pm

    stunning! what a great combo with figs ~ as always lovely photo too!

  49. Laurie — 11/17/08 @ 10:14 pm

    What a great recipe! Total YUM. Love the step by step photos and your comments. Very helpful to those of us still trying to figure out how to take better photos.

  50. Debbie — 11/23/08 @ 3:17 pm

    The photos are downright SEXY!

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