When perfectly ripe figs are in season, there is nothing better than using them in a salad that compliments their wonderful sweet and succulent taste. Arugula salad with figs, prosciutto and gorgonzola dolce cheese is a great combination of bitter, sweet and salty flavors from Italy. It makes a lovely first course when entertaining friends. By increasing the amounts, the salad makes a wonderful main course for lunch or dinner.
This seriously good salad was inspired by the beautiful cheeses that I often saw combined with fruits on my husband’s and my trip through Italy last fall.
One of the best cheeses that we had in northern Italy was Gorgonzola Dolce. This Italian cheese is softer, milder, and younger that traditional Gorgonzola. The almost spreadable cheese has a more buttery taste than Roquefort and is moister than Stilton and other blues. If you can’t find it in your local market or specialty store, then any of the other blues or even a triple cream would make a good substitute.
The greens, in this case, slightly peppery baby arugula is dressed lightly with a thyme infused honey and sherry vinaigrette. Peppery watercress or baby dandelion greens would make a wonderful alternative.
Arugula Salad With Figs, Prosciutto and Gorgonzola Dolce
- 2 ripe figs, quartered per person
- 2 slices of prosciutto, rolled and sliced into ribbons per person
- cubed Gorgonzola Dolce, as much or as little as you like
- 1 c. or more of baby arugula per person
Thyme Infused Honey and Sherry Vinaigrette
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Place the chopped thyme leaves in a small glass bowl with the honey and warm in a microwave for 10 or 15 seconds. Let sit for a minute or two and then add the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Taste and adjust to your preferences. This makes enough vinaigrette to lightly dress 2 to 3 cups of baby greens.
Place a bed of dressed greens on each plate. Top with quartered figs, prosciutto ribbons and chucks of Gorgonzola Dolce.
Enjoy this salad with a piece of crusty bread and a glass of Pinot Grigio. You can pretend that you are sitting at a little outdoor ristorante in northern Italy having a nice lunch. Buon Appetito.