One of the things I loved so much about cooking in California is that so many things were in season….that simply aren’t in season back home in Pennsylvania! What was the hottest thing in season in California that month…FIGS! They were everywhere. Wrapped in salty goodness, cooked down into flavorings and syrups, in salads, in main entrees, everywhere I looked, I saw figs. While we cooked in the kitchen, I’d run over to the array of fresh fruits and vegetables that we had at our disposal from the local farms and our own farm in the area…and sneak a fresh fig or two!
Each day in the boot camp, we made so many dishes. This particular dish went through all of our senses. When you take your first bite, you get the sweet, soft texture of the warm figs bursting open, then the salty bite from the prosciutto…the peppery finish from the arugula…and the bitter, crunchy endive that was complimented by the sweetness of the fig syrup..then the grainy…flavorful, robust bite of REAL PARMESAN!!! I am pretty sure they flew it right in from Italy. They gave us bottles of wine at our table and we got the chance to drink a white and red wine that they make right in the Culinary Institute of America site. I loved each and every wine we tried the whole week I was there. I paired it with the meals as much as I could…but it gave me a sense of satisfaction and warmth while I shared a meal “family style” with my partners in crime at the bootcamp.
Honey Roasted Figs, Arugula, and Parma Prosciutto Salad, Fig Syrup
16 fresh figs (halved)
1 oz honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
8 slices Parma prosciutto (paper thin slices)
6 oz arugula
4 endive (halved, cored, julienned)
1 fl oz fig syrup
1 oz grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cut fig with honey and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and toss to coat. Place figs cut side up and roast in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until they are starting to brown. Remove and cool.
On chilled plates, lay down the prosciutto slices to cover the bottom of the plate. In a small bowl, combine the arugula, endive, 2 tbsp olive oil and the 1/2 tsps of salt. Toss and combine and mound on the prosciutto.
Drizzle the salad with the fig syrup and grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Color your takeout with <3!