When I have a dinner party, I try to tailor my dinners to my guests. After-all, I don’t want to make a mushroom dish if my guests hate mushrooms! On the same note, if I have a guest that has a particular penchant for something, it’s nice to incorporate that into the meal. On this Occassion the guest of honor, Max, loves figs. The only problem is, there were no figs to be found. So I had to improvise. I thought, what about a fig based balsamic vinaigrette? I also knew that Max loves Prosciutto di Parma. So with this information in mind, I came up with this dish. I have to say it was an AMAZING salad!! It’s absolutely one of my new favorites!
Max’s Salad with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto & Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tb shallots, chopped fine
2 heaping tb fig jam ( I use organic fig preserves)
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup hazelnut oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Combine in a mason jar and shake. This will make a lot of dressing, but it will keep in the fridge for weeks.
For the salad –
I use a mixture of 50% organic mixed greens and 50% organic baby arugula.
If figs are available – Cut fresh figs, one fig for each person in ¼’s – dip in sugar and saute with a little butter – reserve
3 tablespoons Hazelnuts per person, roasted and 1/3 ground to a medium consistency and 2/3 ground fine
Prosciutto di Parma 1 to 2 slices per person.
3 cherry tomatoes per person, cut in half
Chèvre goat cheese log, cut into 1/4″ slices. One slice for each person
Toast hazelnuts – remove skins and chop medium for salad – remove 1/3 and reserve. Then process the remaining 2/3 of the nuts to a fine consistency for breading the cheese.
This is the medium chop for topping the salad.
Prosciutto di Parma (sauté prosciutto one slice or two for each person. Cook just slightly, in a touch of olive oil) Then tear pieces in half or quarters.
Chèvre goat cheese log cut into 1/4″ slices. Goat cheese is dipped in flour, then egg, then ½ panko bread crumbs mixed with ½ finely chopped hazelnuts. In a pan melt 2 tb butter. Add breaded goat cheese to pan and sauté until golden brown on both sides.
This is the fine chop needed for the breading.
Dip each slice in flour, then egg wash, then the panko breadcrumb and toasted hazelnut mixture.
Saute in melted butter until golden brown.
To plate salad. Place greens on plate, top with slices of warm goat cheese, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, figs if available, toasted hazelnuts and drizzle with dressing. Serve extra dressing at the table if needed. If you’re serving this as a main course for a luncheon dish, just add more cheese and prosciutto to each salad.