Anyone who knows me knows that I love meat. I have worked at butcher shops, I have an inordinate love of game meats, and God knows I love bacon. But a lesser known fact is that I was a vegetarian for 8 years growing up. I gave up a proscuitto-free life a long long time ago, with some serious pushing and prodding by a chef I worked for, but on the condition that I would only eat meat I could feel ethical about. Free-range, organic whenever possible, and way less meat then the American dream.
The lovely man that I live with is a very accomodating sort, he puts up with me, which does say quite a bit, but he puts his foot down on a few matters, that the floor gets swept every night, that windows should be open while we sleep, and there should always be meat with dinner. Now, I’m all for keeping the floor clean, and I have an extra quilt at the foot of my bed to stay warm but we definitely disagree on the meat issue.
So we’ve started compromising by using a little bit of meat. It’s unusual for us to eat a whole chicken breast, or 8oz of steak each, but it’s common to find some bacon in a pasta, or some local prawns in curries, or in this case, a few slices of proscuitto.
It’s not much, it isn’t. But it is enough to make him feel like he’s getting some meat in a meal, and it’s small enough to make me feel ethical about the whole thing.
And that doesn’t touch on taste, which is big and important here. There are few things better in life than figs and prosciutto. But on top of crispy bread with ricotta? We is very close to perfection.
4 slices of good crusty bread
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
6 slices of Prosciutto, very thinly sliced.
8 large Mint Leaves, finely sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
Handful of Arugula
Salt and Pepper
In a small bowl mix the ricotta with the mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Cut the bread in half and toast until just getting warm.
Spread the ricotta mixture on the toasts.
Put a few leaves of arugula on top.
Tear apart the prosciutto and figs and layer them atop of the arugula.
Drizzle with olive oil and eat eat eat!