Summer starter

Figs with frozen melon puree

If you are lucky enough to happen upon ripe, unblemished happy healthy figs in the market, grab them and do something with them, anything. Keep it simple. They deserve much love, little handling and a lot of savouring.

Gather the necessary – 6 fresh ripe figs, leave the skins on. As a general rule in life – don’t peel! Unless you’re in a place where your life may be in danger if you don’t.

1 melon -any kind as long as it’s ripe – tap the centre of the bottom and smell it. If you smell a little sweet melon go for it.

Several slices of jambon de Bayonne or Parma ham or jambon serrano, one or two per person depending on appetite.

First slice your melon in half. Scoop out the seeds, discard and then scoop out the flesh. Keep aside half of the flesh in cubes. Puree the other half with a hand mixer and a spoonful of brown sugar (optional). If you don’t have a hand mixer, mush and mash with a fork….just needs to be pureed. Place the resulting mush in a cup or bowl in the freezer.

Then, turn to your divine little fresh figs. Don’t peel them, just rinse them well and slice off the little tops and make a cross in them with a knife. Roll pieces of ham and slot into the crosses of the figs.

Arrange slices of ham on a plate around your figs. Slice the rest of the melon and arrange in and around the figs. Cover and let sit in the fridge for a while before removing and bringing to room temp. All depends on when you’re serving…..

Just before serving, remove the melon from the freezer and gently mix with a fork.

Serve each of the figs with a dollop of the frozen melon purée.