I'm always on the lookout for foolproof, super quick, but super impressive recipes. These become my go-to favourites for entertaining and last minute dinners. It's one of those appetizers that you can easily put together while you are prepping your other dishes and takes very little attention.
You can also easily assemble ahead of time. As long as you don’t overcook the figs, you can put most of this together up to a couple of hours before serving and it will hold up well - just make sure that you add the cheese and the condiments at the last minute. It makes a perfect light appetizer or brunch dish or you can serve some bread on the side for a heartier course. Any way you serve it, it will be a big hit - it always gets rave reviews at my place!
8 figs - almost ripe but still firm
12 pieces prosciutto
3 tbsp sugar
1 tub of creamy ricotta
cracked pepper to taste
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Using a sharp knife cut figs in half. Figs should be just about ripe but not yet soft.
Heat a non stick pan over high heat.
Place sugar in a shallow bowl. Press the figs, cut side down, into the sugar to coat.
Place the figs, cut side down onto the hot pan. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until sugar is bubbly and darkened. Take care not to burn as this will give the figs a bitter flavour. Once the sugar develops a crust, remove from heat and put aside until you are ready to assemble your dish.
To assemble; take three slices of prosciutto and arrange on a plate. Place 4 pieces of fig on the plate as well. Add two heaping spoonfuls of ricotta cheese.
Drizzle with honey, especially over the cheese, sprinkle with cracked pepper and balsamic vinegar.
makes 4 appetizers
This is one of my favourite new summer salads. What nobody knows is that the real reason it is one of my favourite recipes is that it is almost entirely made up of leftovers. Usually there is at least one BBQ meal on my table during the week where we have corn and potatoes. I always set aside a couple of extra potatoes and an ear of corn in the fridge so I can make this salad the next evening.
Leftover steak is usually a bit of a disappointment, but it really makes this salad filling and a little decadent. Feel free to use chicken, pork or salmon in this dish if that’s what you have on hand. If your looking for a veggie option, just swap in a few hard boiled eggs and drop the meat. You can serve this as a main course if you have enough steak or as a delicious side if you have a little less.
What really pulls it all together is the dressing. Then top with olives and lemon zest to really give this salad a tasty finish. With all these ingredients in the fridge, it takes about 15 minutes to pull together. Impressive!
leftover steak, thinly sliced (1/2-1 steak)
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup lightly cooked sweet summer peas
12 sundried black olives
1 cup french green beans, cooked until tender
6 small (or 3 medium) potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, boiled until tender
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
zest of 1 lemon
1 large handful fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
To make the dressing; blend the anchovies, garlic, olive oil, honey, vinegar and parsley using a hand blender.
Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Take care not to add too much salt as the anchovies can be pretty salty.
Remove the pits from the olives and tear up into pieces.
Assemble your salad. I like to spread my ingredients out over a large wide flat plate to show off all the beautiful colours and textures.
Season generously with dressing.
Sprinkle with lemon zest.
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