Ainsley Harriott's Corsican Charcuterie Board with Honeyed Figs and Chilli-glazed Grapes

Ainsley Harriott's celebratory charcuterie board is inspired by his travels around the French island of Corsica, with special touches including honeyed figs and glazed grapes.

Ainsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook
A journey through the diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean region.
With recipes ranging from Moroccan tagines to Italian desserts.
All laid out in Ainsley's clear, accessible, and foolproof style.

Introduction

A charcuterie board or plate is a common offering in Corsica, Italy and France and is delightful as a sharing starter or light bite. Corsican meats are known as some of the best in the world and their charcuterie choice is exceptional – with prisuttu, lonzu and coppa (all dry-cured pork products) among the most prized. Figs are wonderful with cold meats and cheese and the island has an abundance of them, so they were a perfect choice for my charcuterie board. This is not a recipe as such, but rather a guide on how to build a fabulous dinner-worthy platter.

Serves 4-6
Easy

Ingredients

80g fresh rocket
At least 6 slices each of a variety of charcuterie (prepared cured meats) of your choice
selection of cheeses, sliced (approx 150g of each cheese)
fresh crusty bread, to serve
For the honeyed figs:
1 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
5–6 ripe figs, cut in half
1 tbsp runny honey
75g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
For the Chilli-Glazed Grapes:
2 tbsp runny honey
a pinch of chilli flakes
1–2 small bunches of grapes (red or green, or both – your choice)
For the dressing:
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp runny honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

First, make the honeyed figs. Warm the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and as soon as it has melted add the figs, cut-side down. Allow them to sizzle and cook for 2–3 minutes before turning and cooking the other side. Turn off the heat, drizzle over the honey and sprinkle over half of the chopped hazelnuts. Set aside.

Next, make the glaze for the grapes. Gently heat the honey in a small saucepan until hot, then add the chilli flakes and turn off the heat. Set aside.

To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, seasoning to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of the dressing to a large mixing bowl and swirl around the sides. Add the rocket and use your hands to gently swirl the rocket to coat in the dressing (any remaining dressing can be stored in a jar in the fridge).

To serve, arrange the charcuterie, sliced cheeses, rocket and honeyed figs on a board or platter. Dip and swirl the grapes in the chilli glaze, allowing any excess to drain, then place on the board. Finish with a scattering of the remaining hazelnuts. Serve in the centre of the table with some fresh crusty bread for everyone to dig in.

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