Parmesan Crisps (see recipe below)
12 firm-ripe fresh figs, halved lengthwise
1 cup grapes, stemmed and cut in half or small whole champagne grapes
6 to 8 cups arugula leaves, washed, stemmed, and spinned dry*
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt or Fleur de Sel
Coarsely-ground black pepper to taste
8 thin slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Traditional Aceto Balsamico (aged Balsamic Vinegar)
* The arugula can be washed and trimmed several days ahead of time. I put the cleaned leaves on paper towels, roll up and carefully but completely, wet the towels with cold water and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to serve, they keep very fresh this way.
Prepare Parmesan Crisps; store until ready to use.
Preheat grill or broiler. Place fig halves, cut side down, on grill and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and allow to cool; set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the salad. Gently toss the arugula and grapes with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of the peppermill.
To serve, place a slice of prosciutto on the bottom of each individual serving plate. Mound salad in center of each individual serving place. Arrange the grilled figs around each salad.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan cheese into long strips and place over the greens. Drizzle each salad with the balsamic vinegar. Garnish with the prepared Parmesan Crisps.
Makes 8 servings.
(More information and recipes on making Parmesan Crisps (Frico).
4 ounces freshly-grated Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)*
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
* Use a stainless-steel grater, preferably one with small perforations or slits of half-moon-like cutting edges using largest holes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a lightly greased baking sheet with parchment paper or line a large baking sheet with nonstick liner.
Spoon level tablespoon-size mounds 4-inches apart on baking sheet; gently spread or pat mounds into 3 1/2-inch long ovals. NOTE: If you make them too thick they will be chewy rather than crispy, and if you brown them too much they will taste bitter.
Bake approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and any bubbles that form turn into a crunchy light golden crust. Your wafers should be golden in color and lacy in appearance.
Remove from oven and cool crisps completely on baking sheet. Remove crisps carefully with thin metal spatula.
Tip: Store between layers of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.