Sorry to miss you last week. It was my birthday and I decided to spend it doing as little as possible. Back in action this week. However, it’s almost too hot to eat which is rather disappointing given the bounty of the season. Fat, shiny aubergines, plump courgettes with pristine flowers attached, tart and juicy tomatoes, fuzzy, candy-sweet peaches and nectarines and delicate, syrup-oozing figs offered by the basketful in farmer’s markets. The sight of this during the darkest days of winter would have brought tears to my eyes.
There is another conflict in my mind. Long summer days are meant to be spent swimming in the sea, soaking up much-needed, vitamin-D-filled sunshine and taking long walks on warm nights filled with still air, not overheating in the kitchen. The only solution on days like these is to head to the market to buy some freshly sliced prosciutto, syrupy figs and still warm baguette. Pour yourself a chilled drink. Slice the bread, tear the figs in half and squeeze onto the bread and top with a slice of prosciutto. The slightly salty prosciutto pairs beautifully with the cool, luscious figs. Toast your ingenuity on maximising your satisfaction for minimal effort. Happy days.
Crostini prosciutto e fichi (prosciutto and fig toast)
If you like, you can add goat’s cheese or gorgonzola (blue cheese) to the toast. There is also a salad version with rocket / arugula for those looking to reduce their carb intake. For illustrated instructions, click here.
15 mls extra-virgin olive oil
1 filoncino / baguette -style bread, sliced into 8 rounds about 8mm thick
4 figs, rinsed and top 1 cm cut off
100 grams prosciutto (preferably San Daniele as it is sweeter), finely sliced
8 mint leaves, rinsed and dried
Black pepper, freshly ground
Traditional balsamic vinegar– a few drops to drizzle over top
Toast the bread and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over top. Tear the figs in half and squeeze each half onto a piece of toast. Top with a slice of prosciutto and a leaf of mint. Grind a bit of black pepper over top, place a couple of drops of traditional balsamic vinegar over top and serve.