Fig salad to celebrate summer with
After a dismal year’s harvest of fruit, the fig tree steps forward and tries to make up for its fallen comrades. And fallen they are. We had superb plums and greengages, then we had a storm, and then there were none. Agatha Christie had something to say about that. We had a few peaches, and then a mouse-bird convention, and then we had none. I don’t even want to talk about my apricots this year. Either of them. But then, hidden under the sun-scorched leaves, I found beautiful plump figs. The first thought went towards jam, as my jam pots are all dusty and sad. But, as we have a young lady in the house that refuses to eat any sugar, I thought fig salad.
This recipe is from a website called Southern Living, and the photo is accredited to Jennifer Davick. It combines some of my favourite tastes to balance the fig whilst elevating it. First there is balsamic vinegar. Its sweet acidity hugs the deep sweetness of the fig and lifts it up like life saver, keeping it just above the level where the sweetness weighs you down. The smokiness of the parma ham and the peppery crunchiness of the rocket not only compliments each other, but exchanges Facebook likes as well. Visually, the parma ham and the rocket with the untanned Gauteng babe skin colour of the Mozzarella could be said to represent the Italian flag. But then we need to equate the Kenyan flag to my compost heap, which does not add to the ambiance of the visual description, not to mention the metaphors. I digress. The reason I like this salad is because the figs are marinated. Figs on its own in a salad reminds me of my brother’s typical remark “is this salad or pudding”? But, let them stand for half an hour in the marinade, and its just salad, no pud.
- 250ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 16 fresh figs, halved
- 10 slices of fresh Mozzarella
- 10 slices Parma Ham or Proscuitto
- 2 cups Rocket leaves
- Whisk together the Marinade ingredients.
- Stir figs in.
- Let it marinade for 30 minutes.
- Arrange the Parma Ham and Mozzarella on a platter.
- Spoon figs over.
- Sprinkle with Rocket leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.