The fig bonanza continues. It turns out that I have not one, but two coworkers with fig trees in their backyard. What are the chances? I had no idea that my office was such a hot bed of fig production. Of course, given the number of times I've now shown up on my coworker's doorstep bright and early on a weekend morning, they're probably completely regretting the fact they ever let me know about the figs.
One of the things I most looked foward to making with my figs, and the one that seems to have been the most enthusiastically received, was this salad. It's a riff on figs stuffed with gorgonzola and wrapped with prosciutto that I had at 'inoteca on a trip to New York last summer.
I originally made the salad by slicing lengthwise through the fig without cutting all the way through it so it opened like a book. I put a small chunk of gorgonzola about the size of a blackberry between the two halves, closed them, then wrapped the fig in a piece of prosciutto. I ran the figs under the broiler for a few minutes which melted the cheese and warmed everything up. I then served these on top of arugula simply dressed with oil and vinegar and a small amount of salt. (Be careful with the salt here -- the prosciutto and gorgonzola are both salty.)
This was delicious just as it was but I didn't think it was photogenic enough. It defied my efforts to get a decent picture. Thus the version you see in the picture above was born. But they're both equally delicious. The one advantage to the second version is that if you're serving this to someone who doesn't eat meat you can easily leave out the prosciutto. Also, if you want more of a textural contrast you can fry the prosciutto pieces in a little olive oil until they are crisp and then sprinkle them over the salad. I'd make the prosciutto pieces a little smaller if you are going to do this.
This is completely the sort of thing I love. Easy. Fast to make. Wonderfully balanced flavors between the sweetness of the figs, the salty savoriness of the prosciutto and the sharpness of the arugula, and completely delicious. The sort of thing that makes it seem totally reasonable to show up at your coworkers' doorstep first thing on a weekend morning to collect figs.
Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Salad
For each serving:
A large handful of arugula
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (or balsamic)
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 tablespoons of gorgonzola
2 slices of prosciutto torn in pieces
1. Combine olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a small jar. Shake until combined. Lightly dress the arugula with this. You will not need all of the dressing.
2. Split the figs and put them face up in a broiler-proof pan. (I use a gratin dish for this.) Put them under the broiler for two or three minutes. Remove them from the oven, add the prosciutto pieces and put them back under the broiler for another minute. Remove from the oven. Top each fig with a small piece of the gorgonzola which should melt slightly from the heat of the figs. If it doesn't melt, put the figs back under the broiler for about 15 seconds.
2. Arrange the figs and prosciutto on the arugula and serve.