Culinary Anthropologist

Prosciutto with melon and figs

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So, I’ve managed to reach Week 52, which means I must have left London a
whole year ago.  To show off my new skills after a year of culinary
studies in the Bay Area, I find myself now sending you a recipe that
basically says, ‘get some prosciutto, melon and figs and put them
together on a plate.’  I have learnt more complicated stuff, honest,
like boning out and stuffing whole ducks, but thought that as delicious
as the ducky ballotine is, you’d be more likely to spend 20 mins
throwing these three gorgeous ingredients together. 

Smmelonprosciuttofig0009.JPGFigs and melons are classic Italian pairings for prosciutto.  This dish beautifully combines the three.  It is served as an appetiser at the Chez Panisse Café during the summer when figs and melons are at the peak of their season.  For best results prepare everything at the last minute (but make sure the ingredients are at room temperature first).

Recipe:  Prosciutto with melon and figs.pdf

Smmelonprosciuttofig0003_r1a.jpgServes: 6
Time:  20 mins

6 ripe and delicious figs
very good extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
1 ripe cantaloupe melon, or similar
12-18 paper-thin slices prosciutto (depending on size)
chilli flakes, preferably maraş pepper

  1. Cut stems off figs and cut each one into 4 segments, vertically.  Place figs in a bowl and toss gently with a little olive oil and a few coarse grinds of black pepper.  Each fig segment should glisten with oil but not be swimming in it.
  2. Slice top and bottom off melon, stand on one end and go around slicing off the skin.  Cut in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Slice each half into 9 equal wedges. 
  3. On each plate artfully arrange 3 melon slices, 4 fig segments and 2 or 3 slices of prosciutto.  Sprinkle a few chilli flakes on the melon and serve.

Read about melons, figs and maraş pepper

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