Nothing tastes as good as biting into a picked straight-from-the-tree ripe fig warmed by the afternoon sun. Well at least, at that moment in time, nothing tastes better.
Wrapping figs in prosciutto or other thinly sliced cured meats and pairing them with honey, balsamic vinegar, nuts and fresh herbs is one of my favorite ways to eat them. Or tossing them into a salad or onto a pizza. YUMMY!
You’ve probably figured out by now, I LOVE figs. I especially like ripe just picked from the tree ones or ones that haven’t been put into the fridge. Unfortunately, putting figs in the fridge or a cooler drastically changes their flavor but you have to unless you’re going to eat them immediately or they will spoil.
Regardless, I was thrilled to be blessed with a flat of huge Turkish black figs from Borough Market in London. 18 of those beautiful, giant pear-shaped goodnesses made their way back to our flat. Well, actually only 16 made it all the way back. Two just “accidentally” became dessert!
I made grilled figs and two salads, including the Fig, Blue Cheese, Basil and Pancetta on Rocket Salad I’m sharing today. And we ate them! So delicious and yummy. We enjoyed every last one of them.
For the salad recipe I’m sharing with you today, don’t be afraid to switch in your favorite ingredients. I had basil but think that I would have loved rosemary or thyme better for the herb since they are a little more strong flavored to hold up to the deep taste of the Turkish figs. For lighter figs, the basil would be perfect. Sage would also work well, especially for fall dishes.
Prosciutto is usually my favorite meat with figs but I found a nice peppery pancetta which was extremely good as well. We loved it so much, which is why I decided to share it with you.
The salad came out so beautiful and tasty. It’s a perfect one to eat alone or impress guests with. We loved it so much, which is why I decided to share it with you.
Fig, Blue Cheese, Basil and Pancetta on Rocket Salad
Peppery rocket serves as the perfect bed for figs, blue cheese, honey, walnuts and fresh herbs in this light and delicious salad.
4 large figs, sliced lengthwise (if using small figs, use more)
4 cups rocket (arugula)
4 slices pancetta, roughly chopped (I used a beautiful peppered one that was great)
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (or goat cheese)
1/4 cup walnuts, raw or toasted
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, roughly chopped (rosemary, thyme or sage would also have been nice)
Jalapeno, thinly sliced
Juice from one lemon squeezed over salad
Honey for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Olive oil for drizzling
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Place chopped pancetta in a hot skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from stove and set aside until needed.
Place 1 cup of rocket on each plate. Divide figs, blue cheese, basil and walnuts among the plates.
Top salads with pancetta and drizzle the pancetta oil over each salad.
Drizzle desired amount of honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil over each salad. Followed by lemon juice.
Finish with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately as is or with crusty bread for sopping up the juices.