The end of the summer always brings us the most delectable fresh figs. They are among the things that I will make a special trip to the farmer's market to seek out this time of year. My daughter and I both like the green colored Calimyrna figs, but the black mission and brown turkey figs are equally delicious when they are soft and ripe. The sweet figs, salty bresaola, and peppery bite of wild arugula come together in this beautiful salad. You may also wish to add shaved Parmigiano Reggiano to further round out the flavors. Regardless, it will make a perfect beginning or ending to any meal.
This is an excelled dish to prepare for a large party or family style dinner as it will hold quite well and looks so lovely on a large platter.
Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber as well as being one of the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in supporting the proper pH of the body. When buying figs, you want them to be soft if not practically mushy. Firm figs will lack the depth of flavor that the soft fleshy figs will have. If they are cracking and somewhat oozy, all the better. Arugula is an excellent source of B vitamins (especially folate), and antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin K which helps our bodies absorb calcium. It is considered a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and kale and is loaded with phytochemicals that give it cancer preventing benefits. Bresaola does not really tout any health benefits, but it is quite tasty. It is a salted, cured, and air-dried beef that can be found in most cheese shops and purveyors of artisinal gourmet European products such as cheeses and meats.
Fig and Bresaola Salad
Serves 4-6 persons
For all ingredients, please consider using those that are grown organically.
bresaola, thinly sliced
If you cannot find bresaola, try using prociutto in it's place.
|4-6 ounces||arugula or wild arugula for a spicier green|
|10-12||fresh ripe figs, any variety or combination, quartered|
|shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, optional|
|freshly ground black pepper|
aged balsamic vinegar or squeeze of fresh lemon juice
The aged balsamic will lend a sweeter flavor to the salad where the fresh lemon will give it a fresher and brighter taste.
|1-2 teaspoons||extra virgin olive oil|
This is a salad that is best served on a platter to display the natural beauty of it.
Begin by laying the bresaola onto the platter. Start laying around the perimeter of the plate and fill in the center with the remaining slices.
Top the bresaola with the arugula and finish with the prepared figs. If you wish to use the parmesan, shave a bit over the top or serve along side of the platter.
Sprinkle the cracked black pepper over the top and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Salt will be unnecessary with this dish.
Enjoy with a crisp glass of your favorite rose. Cheers.