There’s a fine line trodden when restaurants serve plates of cold ingredients. Two, in fact: one by the restaurant as, really, they’re only acting as the middle man between supplier and consumer; and one by customers all too ready to pass judgment and question the mark-up.
I don’t know about you, but where restaurants find premium ingredients, store them with care, serve them perfectly ripe and pair them with other quality items, then I bear no grudge. Where they don’t, then I do.
Thing is, if we’re going to play the “I could do that myself” card, we have to actually to walk the walk too. So whether we wish to ape, or stand on a high horse and better, if we’re going simple, we should still match and source well.
I’m OK at it. Definitely not all the time. But more often than not I try to look out for the good stuff – the other option is a false economy.
Take this plate of meat and cheese and stuff, for example. Salty, nutty ham, sweet fig, creamy mozzarella, and fresh and lively herbs (mint and purple basil), which managed to both connect and cut through everything. These are tried and tested, rather than ingenious or revelatory combinations … but it’s absolutely gorgeous. You should, like, totes give it a go. However it’s also, like, totes worth remembering that it only work as a “yep, I told you I could do this at home” moment when the goods are indeed all good.
In this instance, Parma ham style air cured Gloucester Old Spot from Monmouthshire (via Cannon and Cannon) rocked the meat section. Cheese from the Parma ham and Mozzarella stand at Borough was so, so moist and creamy. Figs were spot on, possibly because, like the herbs that still sit fresh in my fridge, they were from my local Turkish greengrocer, not cold ones wrapped in cellophane. The ham, herbs and the figs cost less than supermarket equivalents, the cheese was a touch more (but absolutely worth it).
So yeah, a super combination. Best sourced and assembled with a little bit of care, though.
Recipe below the picture.
Ham + fig + herbs + mozz
You need this? Really??! Unwrap, tear, place, scatter, drizzle with good oil.