Figs. They’re in season, relatively inexpensive and plentiful. I happened to have a lovely, ripe punnet of them the other day and delicious dilemma on my hands. Do I just pull up a chair and eat the buggers or do I make that ‘picture’ that I’ve drooled over in one of my Jamie Oliver books for years? I was strong, food lovers, STRONG and resolved to make the salad, or at least my version of it.
Reading Jamie’s ‘Easiest Sexiest Salad in the World’ recipe again, I decided it was a bit too light to eat on its own for dinner, so I poached a large chicken breast and added a few leaves to the equation. I also grilled the figs to get a bit of caramelisation happening. VOILA! Dinner was served.
So here is my version of the Jamie classic. Hope you like it.
FIG, PROSCIUTTO & BOCCONCINI SALAD (serves 2)
1 large chicken breast
6 plump, ripe figs
6 slices of good prosciutto
4 or 5 Bocconcini balls (depending on size and taste)
Baby salad leaves or rocket
2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of honey
Salt and pepper
Place the chicken fillet in a small saucepan. Add enough water or stock to cover it and place it on the stove over a medium heat. When it comes to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes and then turn the heat off, cover it and leave to stand for 20 minutes.
Wash and halve the figs. Place them on a tray and grill on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they just start to colour very gently.
Remove your chicken from the water or stock. Let it cool slightly and slice diagonally.
Scatter the leaves over the base of a large platter. Not too many as we don’t want the leaves to be the main part of the salad. Tear the prosciutto slices into halves and wrap casually around the figs. Place them neatly around the plate. Add the chicken slices and scatter over pieces of torn bocconcini.
To make the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar, oil and honey in a small bowl. Whisk until combined and season to taste.
Pour over the salad making sure a little drizzles on each fig.
Serve with crusty bread to mop up and juices.
*I had a brainwave after I’d finished eating the salad that a little scattering of some chopped walnuts would have gone down a treat. I do love a bit of crunch. Ah well, there’s always next time.