Red-Leaf, Fig and Serrano Ham Salad

A vibrant salad recipe from Nigella Lawson. From her book Nigella Express, this dish mixes sweets figs and salty Serrano ham with generous shavings of Manchego.


This salad takes mere minutes to make, and yet is enduringly beautiful. I don’t overstate the case; there is something positively painterly about the delicate heaping of dark red leaves, red-bellied figs, and deep pink ham. I love the sharpness of Manchego, dropped in feathery shavings among all this, but don’t panic if the cheese eludes you (though my supermarket does stock it). Just use some Parmesan or pecorino instead.

Serves 8


1 head treviso or radicchio
200g baby ruby chard or 2 bags salad with red-toned tender leaves
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 x 15ml extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
8 fresh figs, quartered
Serrano ham slices, cut very thinly
50g Manchego cheese


1. Tear the head of treviso or radicchio into manageable pieces, and toss together with the
baby salad leaves.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, oil and salt in a small bowl and then dress the leaves.

3. Arrange the figs and ham with as much artistry as you can muster over the salad and
then, with a potato peeler, shave the cheese over, letting it fall lightly where it will.

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