Everyone these days knows about pairing prosciutto with melon but few people seem to know about another, to my mind even more delicious, pairing: Prosciutto Wrapped Figs. Personally, I find that the richer flavor and softer texture of figs marries even better with the saltiness of cured ham.
If you like, you can just lay out halved figs on a bed of prosciutto or alternatively wrap each fig with a slice of prosciutto. But a particularly lovely, if slightly more fiddly, way to serve Prosciutto Wrapped Figs is as roselline, or ‘little roses’: you trim and split the figs vertically into quarters almost, but not quite, all the way to their base, then open them up like so many petals. Inside each open fig, place a thin slice of prosciutto that you will have twirled around so as to resemble a ‘little rose’. Et voilà!
Notes on Prosciutto Wrapped Figs
Of course, a dish this elemental sinks or swims on the quality of its ingredients. But when the figs are perfectly ripe—with that rich and unctuous sweetness that typifies them at the best—and prosciutto ‘young’ and of best quality, this utterly simple dish is almost transcendental.
I have seen recipes for variations of Prosciutto Wrapped Figs that call for the additional of cheese, usually gorgonzola, goat cheese or mozzarella. If you like the idea, you could place a dab of cheese on the fig before placing the fig rose on top. But personally, I’d leave well enough alone.
Some people prefer to peel figs but I find the skin too beautiful to throw away. Just rub them very gently with a dish cloth to clean them. Try to get ‘young’ prosciutto, sliced as thinly as possible, so it will be easy to fold around itself. (The prosciutto in the photo was a bit too old and sliced a bit too thick., giving it a ‘leathery’ texture that was impossible to fold properly.) But don’t worry too much about appearances so long as the products are of good quality, the results will be fabulous.