Fig, Date and Walnut Salami
In the southern areas of Italy it is quite common to use dry fruit to make something very special. This recipe requires no cooking, as I use walnuts, dried figs and dates. The result is a sausage-shaped ‘salami’ which can be enjoyed in slices with coffee or a good dessert wine. It also accompanies cheese very well.
You could make a slightly different version to that offered here. Replace the orange peel with 125g (4 1/4 oz) pine kernels and add one tablespoon of fennel seed. Omit the vanilla and pepper.
You will need some rice paper, foil and greaseproof paper.
Makes about 1.5kg (3 lb 5 oz)
- 200g (7 oz) shelled walnuts
- 500g (18 oz) dried figs, hard stems removed
- 500g (18 oz) dried dates, pitted (Medjool are best)
- 150g (5 1/2 oz) candied lemon peel (cedro lemon), diced
- 125g (4 1/2 oz) candied orange peel, diced
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 vanilla pod, split, or a few drops of vanilla essence
- Halve the walnuts. Chop the figs into small pieces, then blend them in a food processor until a sticky paste is obtained. Repeat with the dates, then transfer the figs and dates to a bowl. Add the walnut halves, orange and lemon peel, pepper and vanilla seeds (scrape out from the pod). Mix together well, to a sticky paste studded with walnuts.
- Transfer half of this paste on to some foil, and then carefully shape into a large sausage about 30 cm (12 inch) in length and 6 cm (2 1/2 inch) thick. Lay a sheet of rice paper out on the work surface, and then transfer the sausage out of the foil on to it, rolling it up tightly as the paper sticks to the mixture. Then envelop the sausage in a sheet of greaseproof paper, rolling up tightly once again. Tie up with string, then store in a cool, dry place for about a month before eating. Do the same with the remaining mixture, to make a second sausage.
- Unwrap from the greaseproof paper, and cut into slices before eating.