Peach, Fig, Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad with a Dijon and Honey Vinaigrette
Since moving to Italy, my love for cooking has grown tremendously. My knowledge of ingredients is still sparse and my techniques are still awful and would make any judge on MasterChef cringe in horror. Which is coincidentally the only show I can watch in Italy that’s in English… but bad techniques or not, cooking has become a true love of mine, to the point that I would rather cook most meals than go out to eat or even… bake!
If cooking in Italy has taught me anything, it’s the importance of cooking with quality local ingredients, in other words, seasonal ingredients. If something isn’t in season in Florence, tough luck, because you’re not going to find it ANYWHERE. Since I’m still learning the seasons of most vegetables, fruits, and meats here, most days I find myself standing in the middle of the Mercato Centrale with a worthless list of ingredients that can’t be found because they’re not in season and I’m forced to improvise… This might be easy for some, but for a baker turned home-cook, this is a difficult challenge!
I like to plan my dinners well in advance so I don’t end up eating red meat twice in a week or eating fish on a Monday, when the best day to eat fish is obviously on Tuesday when the fishmongers get the majority of their stock, and so on… As you can imagine, improvising dinners does not fare well!
One day I found myself in this exact predicament because apparently lamb isn’t sold in the summertime in Italy? Who knew?! Without the main event, I was left with a handful of dried figs and walnuts I had already purchased for my third attempt at homemade protein bars and a few kilos of fresh peaches to make my second Peach Brown Butter Buckle of the week (which will make its appearance on the blog very shortly) and I had a spark of creativity—a delicious, salty, sweet, and creamy salad composed of Fresh Peaches, Dried Figs, Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts and finish it off with a Dijon and Honey Vinaigrette.
I bought the rest of my salad makings, picked up a Bistecca Fiorentina, and called it a day… I’ve learned that when in doubt, give Tony a steak and it doesn’t really matter if I serve steak juice as a side, as long as the steak is cooked, we’re in business. But I’ll be honest… the salad completely stole the show that night. Tony and I were so engulfed with the salad that we barely even touched our steaks! And that my friends, is saying something.
Peach, Fig, Prosciutto, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Salad with a Dijon and Honey Vinaigrette by The Bite Sized Baker:
For the salad:
500 grams salad mix
5 ripe peaches, sliced
200 grams dried figs, sliced
200 grams walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
200 grams prosciutto, cut into thin strips
100 grams blue cheese, mild
For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- For the salad, place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss everything together.
- For the vinaigrette, puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour over salad and serve immediately. Vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.