This quick and delicious Parma Ham salad is made with lightly cooked crunchy green beans, and sweet figs dressed with a sticky sweet and sour balsamic and pomegranate dressing.
Perfect as a light lunch, the contrasting flavours and textures lift it far above other salads.
Quality Ingredients, Simply Cooked
For me the ethos of Italian cuisine is “quality ingredients, simply cooked”, and it’s a viewpoint that I heartily agree with. Far better, in my view, to take the best ingredients I can get and let them shine, rather fuss around disguising the natural taste.
This salad exemplifies this principle. The star of the dish is the best quality Parma ham, combined with fresh ripe figs and lightly cooked, crunchy beans, all dressed in a sweet/sour balsamic vinaigrette and pomegranate molasses reduction.
A garnish of toasted pine nuts adds a second crunch, and a hint of woody, nutty flavours to contrast with the beans.
There are many variations of this recipe out there: this one was inspired by Jamie Oliver who paired Parma Ham with peaches in a salad, I’ve swapped the peaches for figs and added green beans for crunch and colour.
It’s quick and easy to make, and would make for a perfect light lunch, served with a hunk of good fresh bread and quality olive oil.
Why I Buy Real Parma Ham
Real Parma ham – Prosciutto di Parma, is protected by a European Union PDO – Protected Designation of Origin status. This means that I know that Parma ham produced follows strict guidelines with only four ingredients: pigs, sea salt, air and time which guarantees the quality.
It’s been air cured for a minimum of 12 months, and is without additives or preservatives, and can be traced through all stages of production.
Another one of my guiding principles is what I call extra veg: Forget diets and eat a generous portion of (raw) vegetables with every meal whenever I can.
While the beans in this salad are cooked, I prefer them to be at the crunchy, undercooked stage; the beans make up the majority of this dish, so as a meal it’s a perfect example of extra veg.
How to Make Parma Ham Salad with Figs and Green Beans
Step 1 – gather your ingredients
Step 2 – top and tail the beans, quarter the figs.
Briefly cook the beans – either steam or boil for 2 minutes or cook in the microwave. Once cooked, plunge into cold water. I prefer them to be still crunchy.
Step 3 – make the dressing – pour the balsamic and pomegranate molasses into a small pan and gently simmer until thickened and syrupy.
Once it is ready it will coat the back of a spoon and the bubbles would have increased in size. It is very easy to over-cook; remember it will thicken considerably as it cools.
How to make Proscuitto / Parma Ham Roses
Step 4 – make the Parma Ham Roses – cut slices of Parma ham in half lengthwise, loosely twist each one once and a half or twice, then loosely roll and shape into the rose.
Step 5 – Assemble the salad – arrange the beans on a plate, with the figs and Parma Ham roses on top and drizzle the dressing over.
I find the best way with the dressing is to use a mini whisk so you can drizzle it evenly. Finally, scatter the pine nuts all over.
Finally – serve and enjoy with some crusty bread. This dish makes a superb light lunch, with the crunchy beans, sweet figs and rich Parma ham and or course would look stunning as a centre piece for a party!
Fig and Green Bean Salad with Parma Ham
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 200 g beans
- 4 figs ((ripe))
- 4 slices Parma ham
- Mix the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses in a small saucepan, and heat to reduce to a thick glaze. Boil the mixture gently for about a minute. It's ready when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Top and tail the beans, and steam, microwave or boil until just cooked. Stop the cooking by plunging them into cold water.
- Wash and cut the figs into quarters.
- Cut each slice of Parma ham in half lenghways. Twist each slice one and half times. Then roll from one end to make a rose. Arrange the Parma ham roses on the salad.
- Arrange the beans, figs, and Parma ham roses on a platter, and dress by drizzling over the balsamic and pomegranate mixture.
- You can substitute runner beans for French beans.
- This recipe is 6 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
Post and recipe for Parma Ham salad with figs and green beans commissioned by Parma Ham. All opinions our own.
I no longer eat pork products but the rest of this dish looks AMAZING! I haven’t paired figs and beans together, so am looking forward to giving this s try… and that glaze!!
The figs and beans are a lovely combination.
This salad looks absolutely to die for! Those parma ham rose are just the best! :)
So easy to make too.
This would look beautiful on a table at a holiday party, and I love the combination of flavors! Delicious!
Simple flavours that go so well together.
Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
This recipe is simply amazing! And, so gorgeous the way you plated it! I’m saving this to make for company soon – it’s so impressive!
Thank you Lauren, very easy to do too.
I am a huge fan of Parma ham (I actually got to see it being made earlier in the year) and fresh figs so this dish is definitely speaking to me! Looks so pretty with all of those colors too.
We saw it being made to – such a delicious product.
Parma ham is so tasty, and always prefer it served simply. This is a delicious looking salad, with just the right mix of ingredients.
Simplicity is one of the key elements to this kind of cuisine. It works well.
This salad sounds and looking amazing. I haven’t had figs in ages, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some.
Fresh figs are so good, perfect with a dish like this.
I’m like you Helen, much prefer my green beans crunchy in dishes like this. A nice mix of complimentary ingredients for a good looking lunch.
So much tastier when left crunchy.
I love food like this, delicious and different flavours. It would make a lovely starter if served in a small dish.
Yes, easily served as a starter.
We like to eat Parma ham with a plate of salad, like olives and fruits. Figs are a great choice, and the dressing sounds wonderful.
All delicious together.
I love how you have made the parma ham roses, so simple and yet so effective. What a great looking salad and sounds so tasty.
So easy to make, it is a lovely way to serve the ham.
I like a salad with lots of flavour and crunch, and this simple idea ticks all the boxes. Reminds me of holiday food.
We do like a fuss free tasty dish.
I really like a plate of simple and tasty food, just like this. Parma ham is so tasty, you don’t need to make a fuss with anything you serve with it.
Simplicity is often a good option with tasty ingredients.
I had no idea that that is how long parma ham takes to cure. Fascinating. Gorgeous salad with lovely ingredients.
It really is fascinating, we saw it getting made.
My husband would love this, he loves Italian food. This is like something we’d order from our local Italian restaurant. I love it.
Thank you Polly, so easy to make and very tasty.
Enjoying the flavour of the ham with some simple salad is the perfect way to enjoy. I’d suggest pairing this with a decent red wine, crusty bread and a bowl of olives.
That does sound very tasty, Neil.