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.