How great to walk into the store this morning and find cases of fresh figs! It doesn’t happen very often, and the season to ship them here up north is so short. Sweet, soft, tempting – you probably know that they are divine with prosciutto, but let’s take this even further. I have an old postcard on my fridge from France, it’s a picture of a simple salad with walnuts and goat’s cheese. This gave me an idea of two classic combinations – figs and prosciutto, walnuts and goat’s cheese. I combined this with some bitter baby greens. It’s a gooder.
This Fresh Fig and Prosciutto Salad eats like a meal, so plan your dinner accordingly, perhaps lingering over some wine for an hour, or so, in between courses. We followed this with the first wild salmon of the season – so in other words, absolutely spoiled ourselves silly. You know what? What’s better in life than great food enjoyed with your loved one? Stumbling onto something unplanned makes the best meals and brings the most joy. This makes me think of a great quote I saw this morning –
‘See good things, buy them. Buy wine to go with food. Come home. Have glass of wine. Cook the food and eat with more of the wine.’
– Simon Hopkinson, via Rachel Eats
Anyway, these are California figs – the season usually starts mid-June and lasts until September, but we don’t always get them shipped here. I would love to get my hands on some B.C. grown figs this summer – I’ve seen them in many gardens on Salt Spring Island.
This salad is not only yum, it’s also very, very good for you. Few foods are as rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber as figs, and they have the highest mineral content of all common fruits, nuts or vegetables. Figs also have as much as 1,000 times more calcium than other common fruits and by weight they actually have more calcium than skim milk. So eat them up while the season lasts!
If you purchase slightly underripe fresh figs, keep them at room temperature away from sunlight and turn them often. Ripe fresh figs should be refrigerated. I adapted the dressing from Canadian Living – it’s worth testing the saltiness – I added a bit more than the recipe called for and loved it, I was eating it on its own!
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- truffle flavored olive oil to spray the greens
- 8 fresh Mission figs, halved
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts
- Balsamic Dressing:
- ¼ cup thick balsamic vinegar (it's called mosto cotto in Italian, an already reduced, fruity, lush vinegar)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Balsamic Dressing
- In small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil and mix until combined. The recipe will make more than needed for the salad - refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Slice each prosciutto slice lengthwise into strips. Heat a small skillet over medium setting and add the walnuts. Toast, tossing often, until fragrant - 5 minutes. Arrange the salad greens on plates and spray with the truffle oil; top with the prosciutto, crumbled cheese walnuts. Arrange the fig slices around the greens and drizzle with the dressing.
Adapted from Canadian Living