Friday, August 6, 2010

Fig, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Salad

I went to Whole Foods the other day with a definitive shopping list in hand and the intention of getting in and out. But, inevitably, something always distracts me. This time is was the display of fresh figs. 

They immediately conjured up breakfast memories from last summer in Croatia. We were in Rovinj on the Istrian Peninsula and started every morning with a sack of fresh figs, a container of homemade yogurt and a pastry from the local farmers’ market. While overlooking the communist-era monument celebrating the Partisan Army’s victory over the Nazis in WWII, we munched on the plumpest, juiciest figs we’d ever had. And knowing how small their seasonal window was, we took full advantage.

So I greedily grabbed a pint from the Whole Foods display knowing full well their destiny - a beautifully delicious salad that Jamie Oliver deems the sexiest in the world. Fresh figs are partially quartered and opened, adorned with fresh mozzarella and basil, woven together with prosciutto and drizzled with a lemony dressing. Salty, sweet, creamy and fresh, all in one. Darn pretty, too. 

Figs have a peak season from mid- to late summer with some varieties stretching into early autumn. So if you haven’t had the pleasure of eating this old world treat this year, now is your chance! They work especially well in appetizers, jams, sauces and, of course, sexy salads.

Fig, Prosciutto and Mozzarella Salad
Not only is this salad sexy, it's practically effortless. A simple balsamic and olive oil drizzle would also work in place of the lemon dressing. Adapted from a recipe in Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the Naked Chef.

Serves 2 as a main course (but can easily be reduced for a first course)

8 fresh figs
6 paper thin slices prosciutto
4-6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Honey Lemon Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Using a paring knife, make two criss-cross incisions into each fig from top to bottom, but not all the way through. Divide the figs between two plates, squeezing each at its base in order to open them up a little. Weave half the prosciutto around each plate and decorate with half the mozzarella. Roughly rip the basil and scatter it over the top.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to combine and season to taste.

Drizzle the honey lemon dressing over each plate of salad. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.



Cecily said...

Kate, this looks so delicious. In cold, rainy London right now and find it hard to believe Jamie Oliver ever found enough sun to make a salad as good as yours looks!

Siiri said...

CECILYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! What's up!?!?! Hope all's well with you! I didn't even notice you commented above until I was typing my comment, which is:

Kate, my love for figs is beyond verbal description. But, if anyone knows the answer to this, it's you: What is the nutritional content of a fig?

Clearly I'm asking because I'm OB.sessed and want to know if eating a whole pile is (a) detrimental to my bikini diet, or (b)conducive to it.

Please advise. Also, miss seeing you lady!!!!

NudeFood said...

Siiri, no reason to worry. Four fresh figs only have about 120 calories plus a ton of fiber. I say eat to your heart's content, especially since they're only around for a short time. Your bikini line definitely won't suffer for it.

Cecily, that's hilarious. But I must say, I'm so glad Jamie Oliver branched out and doesn't only stick to cooking tubers.