It’s too hot to cook!

SERVES: 4
PREP TIME: 10 mins
DIFFICULTY: easy
IDEAL FOR: sides, easy meal, midweek meal
BUDGET: ££

What are you meant to drum up for a meal when it’s hot and muggy and you just can’t be bothered…

Salad.

But salads can be boring.

I used to avoid eating salads because they were loud to munch on, hard work (it always felt like I was eating grass), I never felt a great deal of excitement in terms of ingredients and I always come out feeling hungry.

Times have changed and we now have cookbooks galore on amazing salads we can create. Ottolenghi being one of the great chefs who have changed and transformed how we think about salads.

Uncomplicated is the way forward

Having said that…

Sometimes you just don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or in the supermarket buying 20 different ingredients to create a salad full of flavours and unusual complex notes and textures.

Sometimes, you just need to eat and you just need a nice salad that covers all the bases.

So, I’ve found you a lovely, uncomplicated, quick, filling (very important) and tasty little number that’ll please all the family… including any veggies and/or vegans you need to cater for (i.e. just remove the cheese and prosciutto, et voila!)

Prosciutto, Fig, Blue Cheese, Artichoke Salad
Why it’s a winner…

I was actually in New Zealand visiting my family when I came across this recipe and had invited some rather health conscious friends around for supper al fresco, no complaints on that front.

I’ve also used it many times back here in Devon over the summer as a main or as a lovely side accompaniment when I have the house over-run by family, neighbours or friends.

Everyone loves it and it means I’m not tied to the kitchen, nor lost wandering down 10 different supermarket lanes trying to find several specialised or obscure ingredients which are always in the smallest jars below your natural line of sight!

Plus over summer, I almost always have cured meats at the ready for snacks or to throw into recipes to add a bit of finesse and flavour (Check out my other post, chorizo and cabbage salad).

Here’s a chorizo version I made on another day but also added pears… it went down a treat for a quick, light lunch.

chorizo Fig, Blue Cheese, Artichoke Salad
Prosciutto, Fig, Blue Cheese, Artichoke Salad

Would you like to share any salads that are are hit in your household… drop me a line or leave a comment.

prosciutto salad
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Prosciutto, fig, blue cheese, artichoke salad

Course Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 fresh figs (quartered) If you can't find fresh, I've used dried figs before
  • mixed salad leaves – you're choice of varieties
  • 125 g crumbled Roquefort cheese
  • 1 jar cooked marinated artichokes You can easily find in your usual supermarket
  • 165 g prosciutto slices or approx 3 pieces per person
  • small bunch of basil for serving (optional)

The Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • For the figs – put on a tray and smear a little butter on each quarter then grill until they soften
  • Mix the dressing ingredients together and in a larger bowl mix through the salad leaves
  • Build your salad… either one large flat dish for people to help themselves or create 4 separate plates. Place the ingredients around evenly so everyone gets a taste (and to make look attractive)