As a child, I ate fresh figs constantly because we were lucky enough to have a fig tree in the backyard. Ripe figs are largely made up of water and spoil quickly, which is why you’ll often find them dried instead of fresh. However, raw figs have a fleshy, sweet and delicate flavor unlike any other fruit out there, so if you can find them at the grocery store or market, we highly recommend you grab them while you can.
Fresh figs are best served raw or lightly cooked – either roasted or broiled. Adding the salty flavor of blue cheese and the sweet, complex flavors of balsamic vinegar to figs makes for a well-rounded dish. We paired it over a bed of crunchy greens and added fresh cantaloupe and savory prosciutto. It’s a delicious combination and makes a great main course salad for sweltering late summer days.
Fig and Prosciutto Salad with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Reduction
- 1 pound fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 cups arugula
- 12 (about 6 oz.) very thin slices prosciutto, rolled up
- 4 slices blue cheese
- 4 slices cantaloupe
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In medium saucepan, whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, rosemary, lemon zest salt and pepper.
- Add figs and stir to coat.
- Line a shallow baking dish with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Use a slotted spoon to transfer figs to baking dish; reserve marinade.
- Roast figs for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to soften; cool.
- Cook reserved marinade in saucepan over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vinegar has reduced by half. Mixture should be syrupy.
- Arrange arugula, roasted figs, prosciutto, blue cheese, cantaloupe and walnuts on salad plates. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.
Use a toaster oven to quickly and easily roast the figs for this delicious summer salad.