And some would say, really, a salad, and I would say yes. I absolutely love this flavour combination. And it is exactly this that I discovered on our Eating Around the World Adventure in Italy, it is that Italians have mastered making simple fresh ingredients shine. They know what flavours work with each other, and keep it simple, and it just works.
Sometimes I make this salad with just rocket, other times with mixed salad leaves, with rocket included.
If your figs are fresh, ripe and sweet, serve them as is. If your figs are not fresh, ripe and sweet then grill them before adding them to the salad. Grilling them causes the natural sugars in the fruit to caramelise a little, and it is this sweetness that works with the saltiness of the prosciutto.
This is simple and fresh and brings joy to my day every time I eat it.
4 large purple figs
Extra virgin olive oil
4 large slices (1cm thick) bread, whatever Italian style bread you love
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 handfuls rocket or mixed salad leaves, washed and dried
8 very thin slices prosciutto
If your figs are fresh, ripe and sweet, serve them as is. If your figs are not fresh, ripe and sweet, preheat a char grill pan until hot, but not smoking. Tear the figs in half down the middle and smear a little oil over the flesh. Pop them onto the grill for about 1 minute, then transfer to a plate.
Toast or grill your bread: I toast it if my figs are fresh, because I don't want to use a grill pan just for bread. But if I grilled my figs, then put the bread on the grill pan, turning it when you see grill marks appearing. When both sides have been grilled or toasted, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the bread and sprinkle over a small amount of salt.
In a bowl, dress the rocket or mixed salad leaves with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then use your hands to toss the leaves.
To serve, Place a handful of salad leaves in the centre of each plate. Put a slice of grilled or toasted bread on each plate to one side. Cut the fig into quarters, place them over the salad leaves. Now drape 2 slices of prosciutto in and around the figs like flowing ribbons. Finish with extra virgin olive and a dash of balsamic vinegar, serve immediately.
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