The City Magazine Since 1975

Fig, Prosciutto, Arugula Pesto, & Ricotta Salata Panini

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For the sandwiches:
6 round soft Kaiser rolls, cut in half
Arugula pesto, recipe follows
Ricotta salata, recipe follows
24 large Black Mission figs, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
12 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto de Parma
Olive oil

For the arugula pesto: 
4 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
2 Tbs. roughly chopped garlic
1 cup roughly chopped arugula leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped basil
1/2 tsp. seeded and chopped jalapeño
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 Tbs. black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the ricotta salata:
2 cups grated ricotta salata
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh lime juice


For the arugula pesto:
Combine the pine nuts, garlic, arugula, basil, jalapeño, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Do a quick pulse to get the ingredients slightly blended. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Add the lime juice and cheese and pulse once or twice to blend. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside.

For the ricotta salata: 
Place the ricotta in a food processor and process it until it breaks down and looks like bread crumbs. With the processor running, slowly add the cream. Add the lime juice and pulse once or twice to blend. Do not blend too long; it will not be completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

For the panini:
Heat a panini press to 350°F or a flat griddle over medium heat.

Lather one interior side of the rolls with the pesto and the other side with the ricotta salata. Completely cover the ricotta side with the fig slices. Place two ounces of prosciutto over each pesto side. Put both sides together and brush both sides of the roll with olive oil. Place in the panini press and cook for five to seven minutes or until browned.

If using a griddle, weigh down the sandwiches by placing a skillet on top of them. Cook for three to four minutes on each side, or until browned and hot through.