Fig Salad with Prosciutto and Basil

1 pound fresh figs

6 basil leaves, slivered

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 slices prosciutto, slivered

Remove stems from the figs and cut figs nearly in quarters, leaving them attached at base. Press each fig at the base so the top opens out like a flower. Place each fig in a deep platter, roughly 11-by-7 inches, pressing down slightly so the fig remains upright. Scatter the slivered basil leaves over the figs. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand 30 minutes, or until ready to serve. If you want to prepare figs ahead of time, they can be refrigerated up to two hours; let stand at room temperature one hour before serving.

In a bowl, stir together the whipping cream and lemon juice and set aside at least 30 minutes, or up to two hours. It should thicken slightly.

When ready to serve, scatter the slivered prosciutto slices over figs. Stir lemon cream to smooth it, then drizzle it from tip of a spoon in a pattern of lines over top of figs and prosciutto.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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