Recipe: Prosciutto With Figs and Raspberries

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You can replace the figs and raspberries with ripe, fragrant melon—from honeydew and Cassaba to Charantais, peaches, apricots or plumcots. In winter, I often serve it with roasted pears. A grind of fresh pepper or a few slivers of fresh basil or thyme leaves can add a nice hit of flavor, like a teeny surprise in the midst of fruit and ham, although the greater the ham, the less embellishment you need.

Serves 4

    • 12 paper-thin slices of prosciutto di Parma, or other fine dry-cured ham
    • freshly ground black pepper (optional)
    • 4 ripe medium figs
    • 1 cup raspberries
    • 6 lime wedges (optional)
    • 8 to 12 small basil leaves (optional)

On each of four large dinner plates, loosely drape three slices of prosciutto in a single layer.

Slice each fig into four sections, either wedges or slices. Arrange the figs on each plate and scatter 1/4 cup raspberries across figs. If desired, garnish with one lime wedge and torn basil leaves. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Squeeze a few drops of lime juice from remaining lime wedges over figs just before serving. Pass a pepper mill.

To read Sally's article about air-dried ham and how to buy and store it, click here.

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.
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