A Sexy Fig, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Salad, Good Enough for The Land of Mutz

Fresh Mozzarella cheese, Figs, and Prosciutto Salad recipe

Hoboken NJ is the land of Mutz. Say whaaat, Mutz? Yes, Mutz pronounced with an emphasis on the sounds of the first two letters, Mmuutz, and is a local term of endearment for fresh mozzarella cheese. I do not mean to be disrespectful to other Italian neighborhoods in the Metro area. I am sure they have great fresh made mozzarella cheese. However, Hoboken’s Mutz stands above all others in the area. It is so delicious in fact that every Italian Deli in Hoboken has their own house made Mutz and claims to be the best.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Figs and Prosciutto Salad recipe

About four years ago, Hoboken started a Mutz Festival to feature all the fresh mozzarella cheeses from Hoboken delis. At the end of the festival, a winner is named and crowned, Best Mutz in Hoboken. Besides earning bragging rights, Mutzfest donates the proceeds to local charities.

A Mutzfest? Absolutely, and the line to get in is several blocks long. Who can say no to eating fresh mozzarella from every Italian Deli in town? Any lucky person would happily roll away one happy Mutz-stuffed champion. I have this vision of every deli owner with their extended family, staying up all night making mozzarella for the Mutzfest. By the end of the night, not a single spare bit of shelf and counter space is available to store all the fresh mozzarella cheese.

Hoboken Mutzfest

More about Hoboken Mutzfest 2016

I have never attended the Hoboken Mutzfest, but my son has. He is also lucky to live in Hoboken and can satisfy any Mutz craving at any time on any given day. If you were to ask him what is his favorite Mutz, his response would most likely be, “The one I am eating now.” They are all that good, although Vito’s Deli has the bragging rights to being the best Mutz in Hoboken. It is hard to resist buying fresh mozzarella cheese when every Italian deli in town is advertising their special prizewinning Mutz. What is a poor boy to do?

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese with Figs and Prosciutto Salad recipe

I am a big fan of Caprese salad with garden ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil with a drizzle of balsamic syrup. It is a wonderful appetizer that everyone knows and loves. There are other appetizer options to serve fresh mozzarella that are just as delicious and some would say very sexy. Fig, Mozzarella Cheese and Prosciutto Salad is very sexy indeed and a great choice for an appetizer or first course during fig season.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Figs and Prosciutto Salad recipe

I discovered this recipe in a cookbook by Jamie Oliver, Happy Days with the Naked Chef.  When I stumbled upon a salad titled,  “The Easiest, Sexiest Salad in the World,” I had to stop and take a closer look. Jamie Oliver accurately named this salad. Figs are just plain and simple, sexy. They present themselves as even sexier, when they are perfectly ripe, slit open, and strewn between ribbons of Prosciutto de Parma and fresh mozzarella cheese. The lemon-honey dressing drizzled all over the figs, cheese and prosciutto, adds to the seduction with finger licking sweetness. This is a first course meal that is elegant, easy to make, and very inviting.

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Figs and Prosciutto Salad recipe

August is the  beginning of fig season so it is a perfect time to make this salad. Another great feature is, there is no cooking involved. Just slice, assemble and serve. It is prefect for those nights when it is too hot to cook. Serve for dinner with some nice crusty bread, salad greens and chilled wine, then enjoy a light dinner on a beautiful summer evening. It is a meal that will delight everyone and is hard to resist.

A Sexy Fig, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Salad, Good Enough for The Land of Mutz

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Category: Appetizer/ salad

Cuisine: Italian American

2 servings

A Sexy Fig, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Salad, Good Enough for The Land of Mutz

This salad is so easy to make and quite sexy to look at. It is filled with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh figs and prosciutto. There is no cooking required, just slice, assemble, and serve. This salad is an elegant first course for a romantic dinner for two, or can be easily scaled up for a dinner party. It is also perfect for when it is just too hot to cook.

I proportioned the salad as two figs per person and one full slice of prosciutto, (cut in half lengthwise) per person, and two pieces of mozzarella per person. If you are serving this for a dinner party you can easily portion out as one fig per person and keep the rest of the ingredients the same.

This salad can be adapted into many versions. Serve it on a bed of arugula, or change the cheese to There are very few ingredients in this salad so the ingredients should be of the best quality that you can afford. Use imported prosciutto whenever possible, or you can try Serrano ham. Cut the prosciutto into bite size pieces and fry them till crispy and sprinkle them over the arugula, figs and cheese, drizzled with the same salad dressing. It is all delicious. Enjoy!

This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe in Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver, "The Easiest, Sexiest Salad in the World".

Ingredients

    Fig, Mozzarella and Prosciutto Salad
  • 4 Black Mission Figs
  • 2-4 thin slices of Prosciutto do Parma
  • Fresh Mozzarella, or Buffalo Mozzarella
  • 2 leaves of Fresh Basil
  • Lemon and Honey Dressing
    Lemon and Honey Dressing
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 3 Tablespoons of good quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

    Fig and Mozzarella and Prosciutto de Parma Salad
  1. Cut off the stems of each fig, as close to the top as possible so you can have a nice tip. Starting at the top of the fig, slice about half way down the middle, then cross the knife over the top slice and make another slice down the middle of the fig. Gently squeeze the bottom of each fig so it opens like a flower.
  2. Place the figs on a serving dish large enough to accommodate all the ingredients.
  3. Slice each slice of Prosciutto de Parma lengthwise down the middle, aim for one piece of prosciutto for each fig. Weave each slice around the figs creating ribbons of prosciutto. (Depending on the size of your prosciutto you can omit slicing them in half. I do this because it is easier to control and eat.)
  4. Cut the mozzarella into large bite size pieces totaling at least two decent size chunks of mozzarella for each fig, and scatter the mozzarella across the plate between the figs and prosciutto.
  5. Rip, or cut with scissors, the basil leaves and scatter them around the salad.
  6. Drizzle the salad with lemon and honey dressing around and in the figs.
  7. Serve immediately.
    Lemon Honey Dressing
  1. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a bowl, then drizzle the honey into the bowl. Whisk together until combined and the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add about a 1/4 tea of Kosher Salt and a lite grinding of fresh pepper. Whisk together.
  3. Add the olive oil and whisk until completely combined.
  4. Taste the salad dressing and adjust the flavor to your liking by adding a little more of any of the ingredients. Mix again.
  5. Lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad, making sure you get drops of salad dressing in the figs and over and around all the ingredients. Be careful not to over dress the salad.

Notes

There are very few ingredients in this salad so the ingredients should be of the best quality that you can afford. Use imported prosciutto whenever possible, or you can try Serrano ham. Fresh mozzarella cheese is key whether you use buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella made with cow's milk. Do not substitute it with generic Polly-O type of mozzarella you buy at the grocery store. It just won't be the same. Ripe fresh figs are also key. Ripe figs are rich in color, are plump and soft, but not mushy. Ripe figs have a sweet fragrance. They are very perishable so use them within a day or two from buying.

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2 thoughts on “A Sexy Fig, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto Salad, Good Enough for The Land of Mutz”

  1. Looks so wonderful! Can’t wait to try it! We’re waiting and hoping that the few figs on our tree will ripen: poor tree has died back twice now in recent winters due to cold.

    Thanks for the blog and recipe.

    1. Sorry to hear about your fig tree. We have the same issue with our persimmon tree. One year I had one persimmon grow but never ripened and that was three years ago. The past two winters the tree died back. I hope you like the recipe with the figs. It is really delicious and so easy to scale up or down to the amount of people you are planning to serve. This recipe is worth the price of figs at your local store if your tree doesn’t pull through. Enjoy!

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