Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Salad with fresh figs, goat cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic vinagrette

It has taken me forever to get my hands on fresh figs. FOR-EV-ER. But I finally did and I wanted the first thing I made with them to be simple, fresh, and tasty. I went to the google machine and got some ideas about what kinds of flavors typically went well with figs. I settled on a nice salad with salty prosciutto, creamy goat cheese, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. The salad went particularly well with my stuffed squash blossoms. 

Salad with fresh figs, goat cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic vinaigrette:
Start with some kind of leafy vegetable- I used a crunchy red leaf lettuce. This would also be nice with spinach, romaine, maybe even arugula. If your leafy veg is of the large-leaf variety, give it a rough chop into bite-size pieces. No one wants to shove a giant leaf in their mouth. No matter how hard a person tries, it's just not going to be sexy.  

Quarter the figs, use as many as you would like, this salad is all about personal preference- I did two per person

Dice the prosciutto and toss it in a hot pan- let it cook for a bit until it's all caramelized and crunchy.

While the prosciutto is cooking, mix together the vinaigrette: 

- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons EVOO

Whisk together the balsamic, dijon, and pepper. While whisking, slowly incorporate the EVOO until you have an emulsion. The dressing will keep for a while, so if you have leftovers, just keep it in the fridge and use at will (also makes a great marinade.)

Toss the lettuce with the balsamic. Add in the prosciutto and split between 4 salad plates... or two big plates :) 
Crumble goat cheese over each plate, and pop the fig quarters along the sides of the plate.


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