figs with prosciutto and arugula

Black Mission figs from our tree

We have a huge Mission Fig tree in our garden that produces delicious fruit. But some years the fruit doesn't quite mature. It can look promising, with a lot of little small green figs that you assume will ripen. But, if the weather isn't quite right during the growing season, you could just end up with little half ripe figs that then shrivel up, that we just end up sweeping into the plant debris recycle bin.

But during other years we can get very lucky with a nice big harvest of delicious plump, sweet fruit. And this is such a year. It probably is because the fruit grows better in hot, dry weather.

So aside from eating the figs as they are, freshly picked from the tree, how can you serve them with a meal? For example, in a refreshing salad as an appetizer.

Figs with Prosciutto and Arugula

for 4 people:

A dozen fresh figs, rinsed and sliced lengthwise into quarters

1/4 pound of thinly sliced prosciutto or Serrano ham, torn into large pieces

a large handful of arugula (or mixed spring greens), rinsed and dried

1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (half a lemon)

cold-pressed olive oil

freshly ground pepper

about 1/4 cup of very thinly sliced fresh Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

In a medium to large bowl add the arugula or mixed spring greens, then your fig slices, and the torn pieces of prosciutto or Serrano ham. Pour lemon juice over your salad mixture. Add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Add the cheese slices. Pour about 1 -2 tablespoons of the olive oil over. Gently toss together the ingredients and serve.

This salad is still delicious without the Prosciutto or Serrano ham if you don't eat meat.

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