Mario Batali, one of the world’s most admired chefs, was named “Man of the Year” in the chef category in 1999 by GQ Magazine. In 2002, he won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City” award and in 2005 the James Beard Foundation awarded him the designation “Outstanding Chef of the Year.” He has teamed up with Joe Bastianich and has opened successful restaurants in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Mario is also the author of ten cookbooks including the James Beard Award Winning, Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes (ecco 2005); New York Times Bestseller Mario Batali Italian Grill (ecco 2007); and Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals form My Home to Yours (ecco 2011). Mario’s most recent cookbook is AMERICA Farm to Table (Grand Central Life & Style).
Chi SPACCA, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Silverton’s acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant, serves a delightful fig and San Daniele salad that’s a combination of grilled and fresh figs, making a lovely mix of sweet freshness and grilled warm softness.
Chi SPACCA, Italian for “he who cleaves,” was nicknamed a “Meat Speakeasy” by Food & Wine Magazine. The kitchen team definitely knows meat and chi SPACCA doesn’t waste anything on the prosciutto di San Daniele leg. They make scrumptious “San Daniele bone soup” using the prosciutto bone. In addition to the bone, they add onions, garlic, sage and flageolet beans. The broth is so perfectly seasoned from the bone that they don’t even need to add salt.
12 fresh black mission or Kadota figs, cut in half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12 large sprigs Italian parsley
8 ounces fresh arugula, washed and spun dry to yield 2 cups
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces Prosciutto di San Daniele
Preheat the grill or broiler.
Place 12 fig halves cut side down on the grill or cut side up on the broiler pan and cook 3 minutes, until just lightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.
Add the remaining figs, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, Italian parsley, arugula, and olive oil to the cooled grilled figs and gently mix with your hands so as not to break the figs up.
Divide the prosciutto on four plates and serve immediately.
A taste of the past:
DPO status awarded Prosciutto di San Daniele in 1996. The Designation of Protected Origin (DPO) “Prosciutto di San Daniele” was registered on June12, 1996 with Regulation no. 1107/96, in accordance with the new European Union legislation. It was included in the first list of PDO products approved by the European Commission. Exports began to increase and towards the end of 1996 the first shipments of Prosciutto di San Daniele were sent to the US.