This recipe for dried fig “salame” represents comfort food in the region of the Marches. In the countryside it was made with sun-dried white figs bound with Saba, grape juices reduced to syrup, and anise liquor. Currant jelly cooked to thick syrup is a good substitute, if you can’t find Saba. Roll it into the shape of a salame, wrap it in cellophane and gift with a chunk of aged pecorino cheese.
- 8 1/2 oz. dried white figs (Turkish Ismir or California Calimyrna variety)
- 2 1/2 tsp. Saba/ mosto cotto/ Saba
- 1 1/4 tsp. Anisette/Sambuca liquor
- 1/4 C. walnut halves
- 1/4 tsp anise seeds
Cut off and discard the tough stems on the figs then chop the figs into small pieces by hand (do not use a food processor). Put all of the ingredients in a mixer or a food processor and pulse, mixing only until it begins to clump together. Set on a piece of tin foil and form into a tight cylinder, shaped like a sausage. Leave uncovered at room temperature for 3-4 days or until a skin has formed (the outside has dried). Wrap in cellophane and tie like a salami with fine string.
Adapted from “Italy in Small Bites” by Carol Field